The following prose poem started to form in my mind as I joined the many others at the Aldergrove event last Saturday.
Remembrance Day 2017 – Aldergrove BC
The dead and the living gathered on the cold, grey day
The dead, present only in the memories of the living
The living, with the dead hovering in their minds as images and emotions
Both usually kept well below the surface, allowed to be present for this solemn hour
Yellow-green fluorescent jackets marked the city-soldiers among us: policeman
Armaments of their current war slung openly over bulky shoulders or hidden in holsters
Carrying out their duty on this special day – keeping the living safe from those for whom honour has no meaning
Carrying their own recent losses in their private thoughts and feelings
The flyby – four small jets banking against a metallic, heavy sky
Reminding us of the power of weapons raining death on all sides of earth’s many violent upheavals – mankind against mankind
Dead and living together briefly on this solemn day – especially in the hearts and minds of those for whom the loss is still an open wound of war
We remembered. Passchendaele, Vimy Ridge, Diepe, D-Day, Korea, Afganistan…..the sounds of battle echoing in our minds amid the images and emotions aroused in us by the drone of the bagpipes and the tramp of marching feet
We stood and remembered the dead – once again among the living on this day.
J. A. Sclater, Aldergrove