A Little About the Season

A Little About the Season

If you live in Canada, you will know that the poppy is the symbol of Remembrance Day (Veteran’s Day in the States). The poppy is the symbol of remembering the dead who fought to protect us, most particularly in the world wars. The symbol comes from John McRae’s poem In Flanders Fields. As a child, I remember reciting this poem at Remembrance Day in school. At this time of year, my thoughts often return to memories of the past and contemplation of history, both my history and as a general subject. My father served in the Marine Corps in the Second World War, and as he also passed away at this time of year, it often focuses my thoughts.

I’ve written about my father’s experiences a little before, so I won’t go into any detail at present. Of more relevance to the subject at hand is a project in which I have been involved recently. About 20 years before his passing, my eldest sister asked my father to write a little about his life and experiences, a brief account that could be handed down to generations of the family. My father was an excellent storyteller and he complied, and the booklet he produced is one I have returned to many times over the years.

We got to thinking, however, that my father’s account did not tell the whole story of our family. So, we set to gathering my mother’s memories (she’s not the writer my father was) and putting together what we remember to create a book, complete with old pictures of our childhoods, and the lives of our own children, and that project will be coming to fruition in the next couple of weeks. This is strictly a work for the family, for our future so that our children, our children’s children and so on will know something of where they came from.

How can we know where we are going if we don’t know where we came from?
Becky Williamson-Martin

My eldest sisters are the genealogists of the family. I take little credit for what we know of our ancestors, for I’ve never been as interested in it as they have. Our family history has been traced back at least two hundred years on both sides, and in some branches far longer. At the same time, I am grateful for the interest they have taken and work they have done, for it give us an insight into our history. As a famous wordsmith and thinker once said:

Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.
Edmund Burke

There are innumerable examples of that in the world today. Don’t worry—I’m not going to get all political and I won’t force my views on you all. I won’t rail against governments or organizations, for I agree in some respects with many, not at all with some, and completely with none. I do think that we need to understand as much of our history as we can to look forward to the future with confidence and faith.

I’ve rambled on a bit, so I hope you will all forgive me. I also hope you all have a blessed Remembrance Day, Veteran’s Day, or whatever else you observe at this time of year!

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9 COMMENTS
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Mirta Ines Trupp
AuAu
Mirta Ines Trupp (@mirtainestrupp)
November 11, 2021 2:43 PM

God bless all who served and their families. Thank you, Jann for this timely post. Best wishes for all your future endeavors.

Linny B
Linny B
November 11, 2021 12:04 AM

Lovely idea to share with family.

cindie snyder
cindie snyder
November 10, 2021 5:14 PM

Neat post! I was in Canada one time visiting friends and they were giving Poppy pins out and one of our friends gave me one and told me about it and he has since passed away but I still have the pin!

Riana Everly
AuAu
Riana Everly (@rianaeverly)
November 10, 2021 9:22 AM

I wish my grandfather had told us more of his story before he passed away. He never spoke of his time with the British Army in WWII until shortly before he died.
My MIL is into genealogy and has traced that part of the family back several hundred years. My cousin on my mom’s side is a bit interested and has done some work too, but those records are a lot harder to find and the information is spotty, to say the least. I know my great-great-grandparents’ names, and that’s about it.

J. W. Garrett
J. W. Garrett
November 10, 2021 9:03 AM

Blessings to you and yours on Remembrance Day, Jann. What a wonderful idea for your family to have such a book to pass down to the younger generations. Excellent idea. My husband was a veteran and this Veteran’s Day will be even more poignant as I lost him a few months ago. At the graveside service, the Air Force Honor Guard performed their flag folding ceremony. It nearly broke my heart when that young officer knelt before me and offered the neatly folded flag on behalf of the President and a grateful nation. I have since put it in a triangle shadow-box to display the flag my husband loved and fought under. I wish all a great Remembrance Day/Veteran’s Day. Thanks for sharing your idea with us. You may have prompted someone to do the same for their family.

Mirta Ines Trupp
AuAu
Mirta Ines Trupp (@mirtainestrupp)
November 11, 2021 2:40 PM
Reply to  J. W. Garrett

Oh my dear friend. My condolences to you and your family. May his memory be for a blessing.

Linny B
Linny B
November 11, 2021 12:04 AM
Reply to  J. W. Garrett

My sympathies and thoughts for you. This Veteran’s Day will be especially poignant for you.
Take care and so sorry for your loss.

Kirstin Odegaard
AuAu
Kirstin Odegaard (@kirstinodegaard)
November 10, 2021 11:30 AM
Reply to  J. W. Garrett

I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m glad he had such a beautiful ceremony for you to hold in your memories.

Jean Stillman
Jean Stillman
November 10, 2021 7:21 AM

Having your parents write their memories is such a wonderful thing to do! My kids have been asking me to do that for several years, and just last week my daughter asked me again. So I have started. I have not included any photos, but now, I must! That is a great idea. I enjoyed your article very much!

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