Sunday, November 10, 2013

Eleven Eleven Eleven

In the 1930s this was known as Armistice Day, and our parents and teachers still had vivid memories of the day in 1918 that ended the nightmare of the Great War -- on the eleventh day of the eleventh month, at eleven a.m.
We didn't get the day off, and I remember the bells in the hall started clanging at 11 o'clock.  We stood beside our desks facing the flag, heads bowed, for two minutes of silence.
Then again I remember being out on a sidewalk once – must have been a Saturday -- when church bells started ringing and factory whistles blared.  Cars pulled over, a trolley stopped in the middle of the street, everything went quiet, men took off their hats and held them to their hearts for a full two minutes, then everything started up again.
And a few years ago, visiting in Canada, I was in a gathering in a suburb of Vancouver, standing silent in the rain under a group of umbrellas, as two squadrons of single-engine WWII  planes flew under the  clouds on Remembrance Day.

1 comment:

  1. Port Moody Remembrance Day Report: The ancient Commander of the Colour Guard was very much alive and in command this morning. The bugle played Last Post, the cannon fired (repeatedly), triggering bouts of crying by babies and car alarms, the pipers piped and the drummers drummed, the planes droned from afar and then roared over the cenotaph, and the Guides went up and laid wreaths, accompanied by my former co-leader Cyndi Borsoi (who is now commissioner of Eagle Mountain Guides).
    "They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, We will remember them." (CMS)