They were all there - the Scottish Regiment, the air and sea cadets, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the firefighters, police, first responders, the Salvation Army, the Canadian Legion and of course, the vets. Flanders Fields was haltingly recited in a voice that remembered.
The faces - many of them weathered with experience - remained solemn. A community stood in quiet contemplation - in solidarity for those who served and serve; for those who sacrificed and sacrifice. We mourned the loss of what went before and for that which is to be.
There was something oddly comforting about standing with my fellow townspeople, united in thought, saying a silent communal thank you. For no matter how our thoughts and opinions about war and politics may differ, we all agree that we owe a debt of gratitude to those women and men who voluntarily serve our country, willingly make the ultimate sacrifice. So much to ask - and to expect. Even more to give.
Post script: after walking the half mile back to my car, still processing the emotions that were swirling in my head, the tears still damp under my sunglasses, I was met with this surprise:
A warning that my license plate had been recorded and that if I parked there again, I would be ticketed. The yellow slip is a $30 ticket - guess the bylaw officer had second thoughts about just warning me ...
But the morning ended on a happy note. I took this message to heart and when I read it, I could actually feel the love ...
Lest we forget ... don't worry, we remember.