I would like to introduce my readers to John Babcock. John is Canada's last surviving WWI veteran. He is 108 years old and today he lives in Spokane, Washington.
On November 11, 2008, John passed the Remembrance Torch, a sacred symbol of the Royal Canadian Legion, by video to a WWII veteran at the Remembrance Day ceremonies at the National War Memorial in Ottawa. The WWII veteran then physically passed the torch to a veteran of the Korean War, who passed it to a veteran peacekeeper, who then passed it to a veteran of Afghanistan who is still on active duty.
John Babcock is not in good health and could not physically attend the ceremonies but was proud to do his part by video. The passing of the Torch of Remembrance took place after the Act of Remembrance, which was followed by two minutes of silence.
I found the passing of the Torch of Remembrance very fitting. It honored veterans of every war from WWI to present day. It signifies the line in John McCrae's poem, In Flanders Fields, that states: To you from failing hands we throw The torch; be yours to hold it high. (If you aren't familiar with the poem, you can read it in my previous post. )
This Remembrance Day was the 90th Anniversary of Armistice, which took place on the 11th day, the 11th hour of the 11th month. Many dignitaries attended as did thousands of people, but the ones that really mattered were the hundreds of veterans who stood in the cold November wind to pay tribute to their comrades who were lost in battle, as well as veterans past, present and future. I'm so glad that John Babcock was able to be part of this historic day.