(My column this week is dedicated my Grandpa Glen, formerly of the HMCS Humberstone. Miss you lots Gramps.)
Remembrance Day is tomorrow. And quite frankly I’m surprised by the uproar of people upset by the thought of hanging Christmas lights and playing Christmas music until our day of Remembrance is over tomorrow. Seriously? I think these people should not only be up in arms this weekend, but every weekend, in fact every day.
I always found it interesting how people could not know a person existed one minute, then on their birthday, shower them affection and gifts on the day they were born. Those same people likely offered little to charity in the way of time or money, until Christmas rolls around, and thanks to the magic of Christmas, find it in their heart to give to a food bank or give a gift to Christmas cheer.
Maybe it’s because they might ignore a spouse 364 days a year, but on Valentine’s Day they shower their love with flowers and chocolates. Call mom? Sure, on Mother’s day. Dad gets a visit? We’ll wait until June and Father’s Day. Maybe because I’m in the media, and I’m allowed to voice my opinions in this paper, on my radio station or online more than most, but that freedom and all my freedoms are something I’m thankful for every day I walk the earth. Do I give to charity every day? No, but I do my part to support charities whenever I can, I try to be as kind as I can to people I know, not just on their birthday, and I tell my wife I love her every day, not just in February.
Halloween doesn’t quite qualify for this lesson of holiday madness, since trick or treating any other day but Oct. 31, might mean a call from the police. But I think you sense were I’m going with this.
You know who’s disrespecting Remembrance Day? The people who don’t stop what they’re doing for a minute on the 11th and explain to their kids what it means to be free. The people who don’t take their hats off at a hockey game when our anthem is played. The people who laugh at an old person for being slow in the line-up at a theatre, not realizing he might be a veteran who served bravely for our country.
Are the people who put up their Christmas lights, and playing Christmas music disrespecting Remembrance Day? Hogwash. That is unless Santa is taking pictures on November 11th, and any kind of music other than a bugle call is played at 11 a.m. on 11/11. For if we get upset at the people who wear pink hair, or have 200 piercings, or don’t have a stitch of bare skin for tattoo ink, yet that same person removes their hat, thanks a veteran and sings O’Canada with pride, we’re all missing the point.
Who are we to judge someone with Christmas Music playing on November 10th, or 1st or 8th? Who are we to judge if Santa replaces a pumpkin on November 1st? Are we to judge the single mom, working November 11th to make ends meet as that same mom stops to hear a bugle play on the radio at 11am on 11/11? Careful friends. Careful who you judge. For we cannot judge what is in a person’s heart.
It was once said; "don’t believe anything you hear, and only half of what you can see." Remembrance Day is a day of commemoration, but every day should be Remembrance day.
A poppy is a reminder. But the flag too should be a reminder. Show it some respect. As it flies against a clear blue sky, remember how it got there. Remember the sacrifices of the servicemen and women and their families who helped keep that flag flying.
November 11th, December 24th, January 22nd, or June 1st. Let’s show some respect for our military friends of yesterday, today and tomorrow.
Don’t be afraid to say thank you to someone in uniform as you wait in line for groceries. Try and do it without a lump in your throat. Good luck. It’s not easy. Thank a veteran and shake their hand next time you see someone in a Legion Uniform. It will not only lift their spirits, but it will lift yours too.
Don’t wait until Valentine’s Day to do something nice for your husband. Don’t wait until Mother’s day to call your mom out of the blue. Don’t wait until Christmas to help a friend in need, and there’s no need to wait until tomorrow to remember the sacrifice.
Every time you hear O’Canada, see our flag, or see a uniform, remember them. Every time you enjoy yourself. Laugh when nobody’s laughing. Dance when everyone sits, or speak your mind when others are booing and throwing fruit.
Remember how good it feels to be free. Remember how great it feels to be thankful. Remember who fought, continues to fight, and will fight tomorrow, so you have that freedom.
Christmas lights, Easter eggs, valentine cards and pumpkins eventually are all eventually boxed and put away. The flag is never boxed. Our song will always be sung, long after the last Christmas carol plays. Every day is Remembrance Day. Every day.
Corinna Janz Teetaert
Brenda Lynn Tonn
Joke this Week
An old man, went to the doctor to get a physical.
A few days later, he was seen walking down the street with a gorgeous young woman on his arm.
A couple of days later, the doctor spoke to him and said, "You're really doing great, aren't you?"
He replied, "Just doing what you said, Doc: 'Get a hot mamma and be cheerful.'"
The doctor said, "I didn't say that. I said, 'You've got a heart murmur; be careful."