A prose poem written after attending the Aldergrove ceremony on 11/11/16.
It seems a short time since we last gathered to remember, but the world has circled and we come together around the familiar places of remembrance.
We left our secure houses on this solemn day to be part of the ritual, aware that the ranks of the honoured dead have been added to again this year, for our well-being.
And so we come to remember and to watch – and think.
Are we really the first of many post-national countries? Or should nationhood be among the most important things? Is there truth in either idea, or is there no way to know which way offers prosperity, safety or peace? We do know this – that many died in the past in defence of the integrity of nations, to keep others from erasing borders in the name of arrogant, angry, self-willed urgency.
And as we remember, the poppies still blow in Flanders Fields. And in the valleys of Afghanistan, and on the plains of other distant lands where brave men and women died to defend our privilege of security on this solemn, proud day and through another dangerous year.
J.A. Sclater, Aldergrove