Today is Memorial Day in the United States. A day of remembrance and respect. A day when all of us, regardless of our nationality, should be thankful for those who served, and those who paid the ultimate price.
I am reminded of a day in early May some ten years ago when my husband and I were travelling in the Netherlands. We were on a river cruise and had the good fortune to be docked within a short drive of Groesbeck, the site of the Canadian War Cemetery. Prior to that visit, the townspeople paraded in utter silence to the local war memorial and placed flowers. Every single resident, adult and child, participated. You could have heard a pin drop. I was part of a Canadian tour and we were all touched to discover a separate memorial to Canadian soldiers. I rarely cry, but the number of flowers at the Canadian memorial broke down my reserves.
And then we continued to Groesbeck. A resting place of Canadian soldiers, it is lovingly tended by local school children, who are mindful of the sacrifices made. It is my understanding that they consider it an honour to tend the cemetery. Our own Canadian children could learn much from the dedication shown here.
I walked along the rows, looking at names and ages. They were so young, most of them. It’s a lesson I will never forget.