Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Two Minutes

Today, at the eleventh hour, with red poppies pinned close to our hearts, Canadians across our nation will share two silent minutes of reflection and respect to remember those who served our country.

Two minutes for those whose hearts ceased beating far too soon.

Two minutes for countless, selfless acts of courage given in exchange for our freedom.

Two minutes for indescribable sacrifice.

It's an honour and a privilege for Canadians to pause to remember and respect those who serve.

At this time last year, we had lost 97 of our sons and daughters in Afghanistan, and I listed these soldiers names then. By April of this year, we lost 20 more and their names appear here. As of today, we have lost 133 men and women in Afghanistan. The additional 16 names are below.

Major Michelle Mendes, 30 • Private Alexandre Péloquin, 20 • Corporal Martin Dubé, 35 • Corporal Nicholas Bulger, 30 • Master Corporal Charles-Philippe Michaud, 28 • Master Corporal Pat Audet, 38 • Corporal Martin Joannette, 25 • Private Sébastien Courcy, 26 • Corporal Christian Bobbitt, 23 • Sapper Matthieu Allard, 21 • Major Yannick Pépin, 36 • Corporal Jean-Francois Drouin, 31 • Private Patrick Lormand, 21 • Private Jonathan Couturier, 23 • Lieutenant Justin Garrett Boyes, 26 • Sapper Steven Marshall, 24

We pause in memory of thousands of Canadian men and women who sacrificed their lives for us in the First World War, the Second World War, the Korean War, the Afghanistan conflict and various peacekeeping missions.

Canada remembers. May we never forget.


Hilary said...

Today, for the second year, my son, along with others from RMC (Royal Military College) will have the honour and privilege to participate in the Remembrance Day ceremonies in Ottawa, our nation's capitol. I'm fiercely proud of him.

Frank Baron said...

I have no doubt that we here in Canada will always remember. And I know for a certainty that Europeans will always remember and be grateful for the sacrifices of our people on their behalf.

I hope the same can be said about the Afghani people in the years to come.

And I hope J gets some serious TV face time. :)

Maria said...

They should always be remembered. They are heroes....

Maggie May said...

Armistice Day fo us, was on Sunday.
We do need to remember these brave men who died for us all ..... to make our world a safer place.To give us freedom. Their families made the ultimate sacrifice.

Nuts in May

Dave said...

A sad time for these soldiers' families. - Dave

ethelmaepotter! said...

I read through the statistics and they barely registered.
I read through the names, and the impact was astounding.
I saw the headstone, and my hand went to my heart.
What a loving tribute. I wish all Canadians could read this on this special day. Thank you.

~PakKaramu~ said...

Visiting your blog

Zuzana said...

Hilary, I remember your lovely post last year as well, where you mention the many that have fallen in wars.

Your son indeed must be a very special young man and you can nothing but be proud of him.

Although we do not observe Remembrance Day here, my sympathies go to you and your countrymen.


Anonymous said...

So, so touching, Hilary. I join you in honoring Canadian and US servicemen and women who have paid with their lives for our freedom.

Again, we are reminded, our freedom isn't free. These are the people who paid for it with their lives.

Maggie May said...

I am back again to correct my comment. I should have said..... it was Remembrance Sunday last weekend and that it IS Armistice Day here too today and I was glad that I was able to observe the 2 mins silence before work at 11 am our time ( alongside our local radio.)

Nuts in May

Nessa said...

Everyone, everywhere should always remember.

Wordless Wednesday

Mental P Mama said...

Always. Beautiful tribute.

Leah J. Utas said...


Brian Miller said...

i will remember...

Lulda Casadaga said...

I think many young Americans don't realize how much our brothers and sisters up North have given in times of war. I will be proud to salute you all at 11:00... :)

the Bag Lady said...

I do not blame you for being fiercely proud of your son! I am proud to say that my father served in the second World War and I shall always remember and observe my two minutes of silence in honour of all who have served and all who have given their lives in the service of their country.

Wonderful post, Hilary. (and I'll keep an eye out for your boy on TV!)

Lori said...

I will remember...and we do need to remember all these hero's with pride and respect. Our freedoms have not been for free. I am proud of your son too.

CIN&BUD said...

My husband is a disabled veteran and I have a nephew and my daughter's financee in the service right now. Bless all who are serving their country right now!

ellen abbott said...

I am blessed because our son survived his two tours in Iraq whole while so many others did not.

~JarieLyn~ said...

Heroes, all of them. They have my honor, respect, and support.

Daryl said...


Land of shimp said...

It's both an honor and a privilege to take two minutes out of my life to think about, and show gratitude towards Canadians who have fallen. Thank you for the opportunity.

I truly hope that someday mankind will evolve past violence, although it seems unlikely to happen in my lifetime, but there is no one braver than someone who will risk death for the sake of others.

I'm not a Canadian, but I have nothing but respect for your country, and the people in it. Thank you for the reminder to remember those that have lost their lives, and those that were injured also.

There's a beautiful quote from Plato about the death of Socrates (and like most people, the only way I'm familiar with it was through the movie Lady Jane) :

The soul takes flight to the world that is invisible. At there arriving, is assured of bliss, and forever dwells in paradise.

I don't know what I believe about a life after death, but may those who fell in the course of war find the land invisible filled with peace.

Suldog said...

Amen, Hilary.

Grayquill said...

Great post Hilary - I didn't know today was Veternas day in Canada also. You did good.

Elizabeth Bradley said...

You should be proud. We all should.

Dianne said...

fiercely proud :)

Peace Hil

Phyllis E said...

"To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields."

John McCrae: In Flanders Fields (1915)

Hilary said...

• I hope so too, Frank.. re Afghanistan. As far as the CBC broadcast goes, I didn't see him but hopefully someone has recorded or photographed it and will post to YouTube or elsewhere. :)

• Gaelikaa, they are indeed. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Maggie, you're entirely right. And I believe we always will remember.. and teach our children likewise. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Dave, yes. A thought that haunts me from time to time with my own son in the military. Thanks for stopping by to comment. :)

• Thank you, EthelMae for such a thoughtful comment. I'm glad it touched you. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• PakKaramu, why.. yes you are!

• Thank you, Z. I am of course very proud of my boys. Thanks for such a kind and thoughtful comment, my friend. :)

• So true, Sandra. True of all servicemen and women everywhere. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks for coming back to clarify, Maggie. I didn't realize that there were actually two separate days of observance where you are. Thanks for letting us know. :)

• Very true, Nessa. Thank you. :)

• Thank you, MPM. :)

• Nod, Leah. :)

• Thanks for stopping by, Brian.

• I think you might be right about that, Lulda. Thank you very kindly. :)

• Thanks very much, Baggie and to your father and all who serve(d). I know how proud you are too, my friend. No need to watch for Jeffrey - the cameras skimmed too quickly. I'm hoping someone else recorded the event, and that I can see it later. :)

• Thank you so much, Smiles4U. That's a lovely sentiment. :)

• CinBud, thank you to your family members who are so brave. May your nephew and daughter's fiancee come home safely. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Ellen, you are indeed blessed. I'm so happy for you that he's safe. :)

• Nicely expressed, Jarie Lyn. Thanks for that. :)

• Nod, Daryl. :)

• Land of Shrimp, thank you for you beautiful and eloquent comment. Your sentiments express so tenderly what most of us feel. Thank you. :)

• Thanks for being here, Suldog. :)

• Thank you, Grayquill. It's Remembrance Day here but close enough. :)

• Elizabeth, I totally agree. Thank you. :)

• And to you, Dianne. Thank you, my friend. :)

• Thanks Phyllis. In Flanders Field is of course the definitive piece of Remembrance Day literature. Thanks for sharing this excerpt. :)

Thumbelina said...

No one has love greater than this, that someone should surrender his soul in behalf of his friends
- John 15:13 (The Holy Bible)

Your pride shines through, as does your gratitude.

Reb said...

Beautiful post!

Anonymous said...

Once again you have created a beautiful and touching Remembrance Day post. Thank you, Hilary -- and thank you to your son for serving. (If you send me the link, I will watch the ceremony online.)
Just like I did last year, I read through the names aloud. It felt to me to be the right thing to do to honour them, to speak their names in remembrance.
I am wearing a poppy over my heart today.

Karen said...

May both Canadians and we Americans never forget! Congrats for your son. Don't forget your camera. teehee.....

Eddie Bluelights said...

We had Remembrance Sunday where we honoured the dead of all the wars and we wore red poppies in memory of those brave men. My wife and I observed 2 minutes silence.
We did it again today because it is Armistice Day when miraculously after all that wasted blood and life the war ended at a very special time, the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. It was as if some unseen hand was guiding the fortunes of history and this date was marked as the eleventh hour. I'll do a post on this one day because the 12th hour is also marked in History and also the 13th hour - a fascinating study.
We remember the fallen, son just boys, who died endeavouring to make this world a much better place.

Bogey said...

Hilary, I anticipated nothing less than perfection from you today and of course, you delivered magnificently. What a marvelous and heartwarming tribute to the fallen warriors. You can add my congratulations to your son for performing a very honourable duty. I have no doubt of your pride for him as well as all of the other young men and women who stand on guard. It is always a solemn picture when I drive by one of our monuments on the eve of Rememberance Day and see these young people at their station. Truly amazing.

One other thing I noticed as I read the list of the Canadian Soldiers who have fallen in Afghanistan. For decades, we have listened to the culture clash between the French and the English across our country. But when I read of the many French names who have fallen, to the enemy, there was no distinction between French and English. Only the fact that they were wearing a Canadian Uniform. That tells me a lot about the love they had for their country. That they put their lives at risk for all of Canada. Lest we forget!

Great post!

Tammie Lee said...

It is important that we remember and hold sacred the lives of all people.

cheshire wife said...

I had not realised that there were Canadians in Afghanistan, here in the UK we hear so much about are own troops, but little about other nationalities. Each country seem to focus on its own. We should be grateful to them all.

LadyFi said...

I hope this also serves to remind us that war is not the answer...

Anonymous said...

There is such a bond between us all. And also the past and the present. We must never forget.

maddie said...

Sorry, that wasn't anonymous, it was me

lime said...

i like that this is a day our countries share. sorry i am late getting here but i too remembered them. thanks for this post.

Kelly H-Y said...

Beautiful post.

ds said...

Thank you. We do not do enough to honor our veterans here...

Anonymous said...

Nice post for memories of those who serve and served.

Unknown said...

We have much to be thankful for. Unsung heroes on this earth, are many~

Shrinky said...

As so you should be Hilary (fiercely proud). So poignant this year, knowing of all the recently injured and fallen.


God bless Canada! We love you too! One humble and thankful American

Kappa no He said...

Reading the names and seeing the breaks my heart. Thank you for this post, Hilary.

photowannabe said...

Thank you and no matter where we live, may we never forget.

Hilary said...

• Thank you, Thumbelina. I know that your Mom heart recognizes mine. :)

• Thank you, Reb. Much appreciated. :)

• Thank you, KC and I'm sorry but by the time your comment came through, the broadcast was already long done but I did ultimately catch a glimpse of my son on TV and if you're interested I'll send you a very poor recording of it. :) You know better than most, just how important it is to support our respective troops, and to remember and honour those who have passed. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your support. My gratitude goes to your dear husband too. :)

• Thanks, Karen. I wish I had been able to go to Ottawa to see the ceremonies but it's about 4 or 5 hours away from where I live. I did watch it on TV though, and recorded it. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thank you, Eddie. I'll look forward to seeing what you have to write about the 12th and 13th hours. Knowing you, it will be a wonderful read. Thanks for observing these special and important days. And thanks for dropping by to share. :)

• Thank you so much, Bogey. Your very kind words mean a lot to me. I hope my son will drop by and read the wonderful, supportive comments such as yours. You're right about us being Canadians first. Such petty, unimportant differences such as language, race and religion can not matter in the face of this sort of patriotism. Thanks for such a supportive comment. It's very much appreciated. :)

• Tammie Lee, I totally agree. Thank you for stopping by. :)

• Chesire wife, there are many who are unaware of Canada's mission in Afghanistan. I'm glad that you were able to learn about it here. And you're so right about our gratitude. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• LadyFi thanks for stopping by and sharing your sentiments. :)

• Maddie Grigg, how right you are. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. :)

• Thanks, Lime. I also like that we have this day in common as it's a very important one. I'm glad you observed it too. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thank you, Kelly. Much appreciated. :)

• DS, thanks. I'm not sure we can ever do quite enough. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thank you, Abe. I'm glad you think so. :)

• Carol, right you are. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks very much, Shrinky. It's always a bad year when we lose our nation's soldiers. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• SFTC, thank you kindly... from this appreciative Canadian to my American neighbour. :)

• Kappa, it breaks my heart too. It brings it just too close to home for me. Thanks for the kind words, Terrie. :)

• Thank you, Sue. I suspect we never will forget. Thanks for stopping by. :)

Travis Erwin said...


Deb Shucka said...

With gratitude for their service and sacrifice.

Anita said...

I am just reading your post, two days later, but it is never too late to honor our armed forces and veterans - it is something that we should do frequently.

Blessings to you and your son.
God Bless both of our countries!

Louise said...

Beautiful tribute.

Wendy said...

A perfect tribute, Hilary. You express yourself so well. Those unselfish men and women who have given their lives for all of us deserve to be honoured. We will never forget.
Bless your son. I'm sure he does make you proud.

Susan said...

I like that the entire nations pauses for two minutes. What a great tradition.

Hilary said...

• Thanks for stopping by, Travis. :)

• Deb, your shared gratitude is much appreciated. :)

• Thanks very kindly, Anita. You're so right about it never being too late or too frequent to show our respect and appreciation. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thank you, Louise. :)

• Thank you very kindly, Wendy. Your warm and caring words mean a great deal to me. Thank you so much for stopping by to share your feelings. :)

• Susan, I was always under the impression that many nations stopped once the clock hit the eleventh hour in their respective time zones. It sure is a strong reminder of our selfless fallen. Thanks for stopping by. :)

SandyCarlson said...

It's an important day, to be sure. Thanks for this heartfelt post.

Hilary said...

Thank you for stopping by, Sandy. :)