Monday, November 10, 2008
I will remember.............
Today is rememberance day. It is a very special day for remembering all those who died to ensure freedom. For me my families history is very different than most here in Canada. My parents were both born in Holland - an occupied country during the wars. My dad remembers the Germans setting up a machine gun in their lviing room window to shoot down Allied paratroopers, he remembers an unexploded bomb in the kitchen floor he also remembers the Candian soliders arriving to their small village with flags and tanks and much cheering. They gave him a bar of chocolate -he didn't even know what it was.
My mom was born right after the war. My Pakke was involved in the resistance. My Beppe tells us near the end of the war they arrested him -she got the news they were putting him on the trains -a one way trip there. His brothers blew up the train tracks and rescued him. My grandmother's brother was killed for harbouring Jews and other undesirables. She told me of how the Germans broke down the door when they were having Sunday dinner together and dragged him out into the street. They shot him as his daughter toddled her first steps towards him. She wrote later in her diary of how she stood there screaming at the soliders to stop and at her brother to just lay down so they would stop shooting. He lay in the streets for three days as an example of what would happen to those who aided the resistance. I cannot imagine having the strength and courage to risk everything for the safety of others.
She too wrote of the excitement and gratitude of the Canadian soldiers arriving to liberate them. They always spoke of the Canadians with deep gratitude. Years later when they immigrated it was with so much pride that they too became Canadain citizens.
Daryl and I years later were able to go to Holland together -to stand on the street where my uncle paid the ultimate price for freedom, to see the bell tower plaque in the village listing all those in the resistance who paid for the price of freedom, to take part in the liberation day celebrations -to see the cemetaries where the brave young men who fought and died for freedom lay. To see and feel the gratitude, love and warmth that still exists in Holland for the Canadian soldiers. To walk down the streets and know what it was to be free.
I cannot imagine as a mother and a wife having to say goodbye to my loved ones, to watch each day for a telegram to arrive. For words than mean so little when you have given so much. We cannot say thank you too many times to all soilders -past and present.
We are free to do as we will, to live how we will and each day on this earth is a gift.
So to all who have or will wear a uniform -Thank you!
To all parents and spouses and children who watch and live their loved ones chosing this lifes calling -thank you!
We pray for peace, we hope for tolerance and above all we thank the great spirit above all for life.
We will not forget you.