After leaving high school and moving on to University I remember wondering how they gathered everyone in University for this traditional assembly. There are no mandatory assemblies in University. I quickly realized that as you become an adult no one forces you to respect others, it was something you choose to do for yourself. The University would offer a short service in one of the main cores of the school and have cadets selling poppies throughout the campus. One year I remember being particularly busy and working away on a paper in one of the computer labs on campus. I was typing away when all the sudden I heard the last post and students in the lab began to stand one by one. I looked around and joined them. This was powerful to me. Although I had lost track of the day, and lost track of the time we still stood and had a moment of silence. Our lab was right outside where the schools service was taking place and so I shared that moment with my fellow students. While I would hardly brag that this was more than enough respect to be shown I was grateful for the University's initiative to hold a service and grateful I didn't miss that moment of silence.
Today again we come to Remembrance Day. While getting ready this morning I saw footage of the services taking place at our Nations capital. I wondered to myself where I would be during the traditional moment of silence. It seemed rather disrespectful to just go on with my life today without taking a moment to pause. I received a poppy a few weeks ago and ensured I had it on this morning. Morning routine rushed on and I went to spend the morning with my Mom. We decided to check out a new home decor store that has recently opened near our house. As we were shopping an announcement came over the loud speaker. My Mom and I continued to shop until I started to listen to what they were saying. Slowly shoppers slowed down and stopped as they too began to listen.
Where were you this year?
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
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