Take two minutes, would you mind?
It’s a pittance of time
For the boys and the girls who went over,
In peace may they rest, may we never forget why they died.
It’s a pittance of time.
There were songs, poems, poppies, memories and tears as students, staff and residents remembered those who have served, and do serve, so that Canada might be free.
Wreaths were laid at the municipal cenotaph, outside St. Michael’s Catholic School, before Kevin O’Gorman of the Royal Canadian Legion’s Cobden branch emceed his 15th Admaston-Bromley Remembrance Day service inside the Douglas school last Friday. Several references were made to the importance of remembering, including the above words sung by the St. Michael’s Choir from Terry Kelly’s song, A Pittance of Time.
An emotional MPP John Yakabuski took a lengthy, tearful pause, as one of the two guest speakers. The pause came after asking the audience to honour those who didn’t survive military service and to thank those who are still with us after serving in military conflicts.
Regaining his composure, he said, “Those who are still with us, do not let an opportunity pass by to thank them … so make that pledge to never forget.”
These services are emotional for him, said the MPP, because he is reminded that “I have done nothing to earn the peace, to earn the freedom, to earn that liberty, to earn the rights” that he enjoys as a Canadian citizen.
The other guest speaker was Admaston-Bromley Mayor Raye-Anne Briscoe.
“Today,” she said, “is a day that we gather in our country and in countries around the world to remember. We are here to remember those who fought and died in Canada’s wars, those who are fighting and will die in Canada’s wars, and those who come home tragically and dramatically wounded in both mind and body,” said Briscoe.
‘a three-letter word’
“War, ladies and gentlemen, is a three-letter word. But war has a face; war is brothers, war is sisters, war is moms and dads, grandmas and grandpas, aunts and uncles, neighbours. That’s war, and we need to understand and remember that and honour that.”
In remembering, though, said Briscoe, we have to do more than attend a Remembrance Day ceremony.
As a small way of remembering, she indicated that the Admaston-Bromley municipal staff have honoured every Red Friday, in salute to the Canadian military, for six years.
Repeating herself, she emphasized, “That means that always, and always, our soldiers are in our mindset.”
For the girls and boys attending the service, Briscoe asked that their challenge be their efforts to ensure more wars don’t happen.
In the closing prayer, Rev. Patricia VanGelder thanked God for the gift of memory and other gifts, like “the rituals and songs and stories that help to keep Remembrance Day alive in our minds and hearts.”
She also prayed: “May this new year be our new step, our commitment to the future, where we can remember war as part of our distant past and not part of our current reality.”