November 11, 2006

November 11

We just came back from a Remembrance Day ceremony; we only live a few blocks from city hall, and I told the kids they were welcome to come. They reminded me they'd had ceremonies at school yesterday, and I insisted they didn't have to come, I was just offering them the chance to come and show some gratitude for people who had died for them.

The guilt worked on Jackson. As we stood in the drizzle with hundreds of other people (I was thrilled to see so many kids in the crowd), Jackson whispered that he should have worn his other coat. The one I'd tried to get him to wear. Brad gave him his coat, because everyone know parents don't get cold.

Jackson said he was getting wet; I told him men had died in trenches full of water in foreign lands, catching horrid diseases and dying horrible deaths all so he could stand there and complain.

"How much water?" he asked. I shushed him.
"Where are the trenches now?" he asked. "Which diseases?" I told him we'd talk about it later.

I have a tough time at these events. I want to cry. I usually do. The pride and dignity in these fiercely brave men and women just makes me contemplate my life as a part of a bigger cosmic picture, and appreciate how vital it is to understand and appreciate our history. The fact we are creating a whole new generation of war veterens makes me sadly aware that perhaps we really don't get it.

A lifetime of loss and heartache for so many. I gave Jackson a hug.

"My poppy pin is digging into me," he said, shrugging me off.

May that be the only pain he ever experiences from war.


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