Friday, November 10, 2006

Friday Fun

Canada Coin Honouring VeteransFriday Freedom

In honor of veterans everywhere,…!
  1. What does Veteran’s Day mean to you?

    We celebrate Remembrance Day in Canada, as well as Veterans' Week. Remembrance Day is exactly that for me - I time to remember and thank all those who sacrificed their lives to ensure our freedom. It's also a time to thank all those who have served in the past and who continue to serve.

  2. Do you have a friend or family member that is a veteran?

    • My husband is a member of the Canadian Forces. He serves as an military engineering officer in the army (land forces). He is considered a veteran because he served in the first Gulf War in 1991. I am very proud of him, and of all the men and women who serve in the Canadian Forces. I would serve myself, if it wasn't for a couple of medical issues that the Canadian Forces won't accept in its recruits or officer cadets.
    • My father briefly served in the military (obtained his training as a firefighter in the military) before marrying my mother. When they married, he left the military and became a civilian firefighter
    • My husband's maternal grandfather is a World War II veteran. He is an amazing man, now in his 80s. I thank him, and all the other veterans of his generation, for ensuring our freedom. I can't imagine what it must have been like for him on the front lines in the second World War, seeing his friends and comrades die. Very tragic and very sad, but a necessary war to stop Hitler.

  3. What does freedom mean to you?

    Freedom, to me, means being able to make my own choices and decisions, as long as those choices are legal (do not break the law). It means I can decide how I want to live my life, as long as in doing so I don't infringe on the rights of others. It means I can choose what religion to follow, where and what to study, where to live, what job I have, how to dress, what car to drive, etc. In many countries people, especially women, don't have those choices.

  4. For my non-US friends, does your country have a day to honor veterans? If so, how is it celebrated?

    Yes, we honour our Veterans through Veterans' Week and Remembrance Day. Veterans' Week runs from November 5th to 11th, and Remembrance Day is celebrated on November 11th. On the 11th day of the 11th month at the 11th hour, Canadians pause for two minutes of silence, to honour those who gave their lives serving their country. There are also ceremonies throughout the country, honouring all veterans.

    I was fortunate enough, on Remembrance Day in 1986, to be chosen as a wreath bearer for the national ceremony at the National War Memorial in Ottawa. As a Pathfinder (one of the age groups in the Girl Guides of Canada) I represented the youth of Canada, and carried the wreath of poppies for the three young people who then laid the wreath on the War Memorial. It was a very moving and touching ceremony.

    Every year my husband and I attend a ceremony at one of the cenotaphs wherever we are. As a member of the Canadian Forces, my husband is expected to attend a ceremony, but even if it were not expected, we would still go, in order to honour all those who have served. This year, since we are posted to Munich, we will be attending a ceremony at one of the Commonwealth War Graves here in Bayern (Bavaria). I expect it will be a very moving ceremony.

    Also in Canada, most Canadians, including all military personnel, wear a poppy, starting on the first of November and lasting until Remembrance Day. The Poppy is a symbol of Remembrance, "our visual pledge to never forget all those Canadians who have fallen in war and military operations." For more information on the poppy, check out the Royal Canadian Legion.

    For more information on how Canadians celebrate Remembrance Day, you can check out a post I made yesterday: 13 Ways to Take Part in Veterans' Week. You can also visit the Veterans' Affairs Web Site, which has many excellent resources on celebrating Veterans' Week and Remembrance Day.


Toni said...

Hi Caylynn, I was happy to see your comment on my site. I have many Canadian cousins living in different parts of Canada. Your Friday Fun says it all for me. Thank you for stopping by and giving me a chance to visit with you.

Anonymous said...

Have a listen to the Remembrance podcast on iTunes or the Royal British Legion blog. It's a good way to remember.