I stood outside our township offices today. I was wrapped in my winter dress coat. It has a beautiful shawl collar which stupidly gapes across my neck and upper chest allowing snowflakes to settle in. I wore a warm pair of dress pants with my office flats. Without socks. It snowed. The temperature was -2°C. By the time I returned to the car, my toes hurt from cold. In my office, I’ve turned on the little heater under my desk. My toes are slowly thawing.
I stood outside our township offices today. I smiled in pride at the lines of elementary students from a local school standing alongside me. I gave a nod of my head when a young lady who is a part of our local fire department walked by in her dress uniform. I worried when a frail old man walked across the slippery sidewalk, wreath in his hands. I wiped away a tear when I heard the same family name called three times. I stood in silence as those around me stood in silence too.
I stood outside our township offices today. I stood with legions of others across Canada, putting aside our own discomforts and priorities to honour those who have served, who have sacrificed, who have given their very lives for a better world. I stood with hope that we can learn from past mistakes. I thought of those who marched, who lived in trenches, who found themselves tortured, imprisoned, illness and injury. I stood with gratitude, deep in my heart, that we stand a country, a nation, strong and free.
I stood outside our township offices today. I stood for freedom. I stood for honour. I stood to remember. I stood for those who can no longer stand for themselves. I stood outside our township offices today in front of a cenotaph, names of those loved and lost, but not forgotten. I stood outside our township offices today to remember… lest we forget.