Saturday, November 11, 2006

Remembrance Day

Today I went to my grandparents house for lunch. We ate soup and talked about many things, including the war. With my grandparents "the war" is always WWII. My grandfather was in the navy. So was his brother. His brother was killed when his ship was torpedoed. That was in February 1945. His boat was out that night because they lost a coin toss with another ship and had to take the run. Gordon was overdue for leave and about to leave for Toronto, where he and his fiancee were to finish planning their long awaited wedding - even then it was clear that the war was winding down. Most of the men on the boat survived, but Gordon happened to be right over the part that was hit. It was a terrible thing, and I don't think my grandfather has ever gotten over the guilt of being the older brother and surviving while his younger brother didn't.

He was showing us, today, some information about a stained glass window at the church of St. Michael and All Angels. It is a war memorial window and Gordon is one of those remembered. Of the three members of the parish who were navy men who died in WWII, Gordon was one, and the other 2 were brothers. These brothers had 1 other brother who could not fight in the war because he was very sick with diabetes. One of the fighting brothers died in action. The other, tragically, died in a naval accident in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The mother lost all 3 of her sons at a very young age and never got to experience grandchildren.

Today, I remember these young men, and those they left behind to mourn and to live on. And I am thinking about the world today, and how we are creating again the kind of global strife that leads to such devastating loss.

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