Life in the Slow Lane

Life in the Slow Lane

Friday, November 11, 2005

Remembrance Day Thoughts

Today is Remembrance Day in Canada, which is treated like a holiday with the day off from school and everything. It was originally started to commemorate the veterans from WW1 but now encompasses all wars.

I really hate the TV news media sometimes. They were interviewing this old guy who survived some serious battles in WW2. He was telling the reporter who was interviewing him at the memorial at Victory Park that he had been badly wounded when a mortar shell exploded close to him causing him to lose an eye and nearly lose his leg. He said that he shook his fist at the enemy and said they wouldn’t get rid of him that easy. He went on to say that this day was very important to him, as he had lost his two brothers in the war. He then became overwhelmed and started to cry. And what did the cameraman do? He zoomed in for an extreme close up of this guy losing it. Assholes. Not cool.

My dad is a total war buff and is a big fan of WW2 aviation. He makes these amazing models of WW2 planes that are so excruciatingly detailed he even paints mud and oil splatters on them. It is pretty cool. I tease him about this sometimes, as he is the King of Tease and taught me well but his interest in this time in history is only natural result as he experienced war first hand.

My dad was born in London in 1930 and grew up during WW2. His house was bombed and they lost everything. Fortunately they were not home at the time. The neighbours were not so lucky and they all died in the explosion. An aerodome was close by so the area was a prime target. Dad saw all sorts of planes flying overhead and, like a lot of young boys, fell in love with it all. I am glad he got a love of aviation out of the experience opposed to sadness from all the bad and scary memories.

My grandfather, his dad, was too old to serve in the war but he was an engineer on the railway as well as part of the home guard. He had lived through WW1 as a teenager and his dad, my great grandfather, died fighting in that war. He was a very promising cricket player in his county and volunteered to fight even though he was too old to be conscripted. I can only imagine how my grandfather felt when WW2 came along well knowing what his son, my dad, might experience.

So today I thought about my cousin’s husband who is in Afghanistan right now. And I thought about war in general. I decided that I couldn’t even imagine what the whole experience was like. And that is the whole point. Those men and woman participated in the hellish experience of war so that I would only have to try to imagine it.


happyandblue2 said...

That was a nice post..

Dima said...

Thank you for posting something not too sappy. Sounds like the wars had closely touched your family.
It's Veterans Day here in the US. I think they deserve the recognition, but I hate how the Wars are glorified.
In my own simple words: Wars are bad!
However, I do salute those who "sacrificed their lives for our freedom." Whether that's so or not, I won't get into, but I know I would never be able to do something like that.

Magical_M said...

We had Remembrance Day here too, and your post just reminded me of an incident which occurred yesterday involving the one minute's silence at 11am.

Its too long to put here so I'm going to post it on my blog.

How's the radiotherapy going?

Squirl said...

I know I won't live to see the day when people realize how useless, devastating, and futile war is. Until then we can honor (honour) those who've had the decency and bravery to go out and fight the old men's wars.

east village idiot said...


Thank for taking the time to write this post. Generations of your family were/are so impacted by war. How interesting to learn about your dad/grand-dad/great grand-dad.

I remembering reading somewhere that England lost a generation of men in World War I. Unbelievable.

My father in law served in the air force after WWII briefly. From him my husband has a love of planes and military history. My son LOVES fighter planes -especially british planes from all the wars. They are also totally obsessed with trains.

I wish we could meet your dad and ask him a thousand questions about the WWII. I'm sure my son would break out in tears of joy when he got a look at those model planes. Sounds like you inherited your father's sense of craftsmenship.

Once again, thanks for sharing your family story.


Sharkey said...

Excellent post, Kranki. Your last sentence sums it up perfectly.

eclectic said...

Very nice tribute to a complex subject, Krank. I love visiting here!

Susie said...

There are so many stories within this one little post. So much to mourn and for which to give thanks. I'm thankful for no one being home at your Dad's house that day. And for teasing. Nice work, kranki.

I am a Milliner's Dream, a woman of many "hats"... said...

Not sure when you changed it, and I musta missed it--but love the "Making cancer sexy..." motto under your blog title. :)

Divine Calm said...

Well said.

Von Krankipantzen said...


dima-yeah, I know what you mean. Hate the war but don't hate the poor souls who fights in them. I hate that it is glorified so much. The fighting, I mean. Such a lie.

magical m-the radiotherapy is going just fine. No problems at all.

squirl-I fear that we humans will never get to a place where war will be abolished. I hope we do though.

easty-when I saw your post about your son's birthday party wishes I thought to myself that I wish he and my dad could chat. The stories my dad has about being a kid during the war are amazing. We have no grandkids yet in the house and it is a shame not to have those memories shared with kids. I must try to write them down...

sharkey-I am totally glad I am unable to imagine those things. SO lucky.

eclectic-thanks for saying that. I always worry I might oversimplify a complex issue.

susie-I actually remembered the story wrong and have to update the post. But it is still quite the story.

milliner's dream-I changed it a little while ago. I am not sure if I am pulling the sexy off but I am trying.

divine calm-thanks, DC.