Tuesday, November 10, 2009

{hopeful remembrance...}

This past summer I was asked to do a photo shoot with one of my most favourite families in the entire world. I’ve had to keep the pictures under wraps this entire time because they were to be a gift to a brave pilot heading off to Afghanistan for nine months as a reminder of the beautiful faces that will be patiently awaiting his return. With Remembrance Day being tomorrow, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to finally post them.

When I was in public school, they used to gather all of us into the gymnasium and we’d watch black and white videos of war while reciting In Flanders Fields. I can’t say that I understood much about war back then and in all honesty, I can’t say that I understand a whole lot about it now either.

A few summers ago, the Canadian War Museum opened here in Ottawa and for the official opening, Ottawa hosted a huge parade for all of our military men and women. I feel as though I learned more history during the two hours of watching that parade go by then I did during years of taking history classes because instead of reading books or watching videos, I watched people; I watched the real life faces of those who have been there and come back to the tell the real stories. I watched little kids on the side of the road holding signs of support for their grandfather who was walking by in uniform. I watched as thousands of people cheered and clapped for victories that have already been won and for others that are still being fought to this day.

And I cried.

I sat on a little patch of grass in downtown Ottawa during a warm, sunny, summer day…and I cried. Because what else is there to do when you can finally put a face to the stories? What is there left to do but cry when you see that war isn’t just stories told at school assemblies once a year?

It’s my brother-in-law that has now left for Afghanistan. He’s flying our soldiers around in helicopters because they keep getting blown up in road side bombs. So this year, not only will we spend tomorrow remembering but we’ll also spend tomorrow being hopeful; being hopeful that this is the only Christmas we’ll have to spend without him; being hopeful for his return next July and being hopeful that these beautiful faces won’t have to spend a moment longer than they have to without the brave man in their life…

1 comment:

Lauralee said...

Very moving, and what a beautiful gift.