On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month–this is what I remember:
War is suffering and death and its necessity is debatable, but what is not debatable is that the young men and young women who serve as soldiers are not adequately taken care of upon their return. This is true today and it was true 65 years ago, when Bill Mauldin asked civilians to understand the pain and difficulties of returning veterans.
I remember that Up Front by Bill Mauldin, a cartoonist who documented the ordinary soldier’s life, sustained me through an embattled childhood.
I can’t remember, because it was without my knowing, that while I was a grieving toddler, about 500 km away on the 11th day of the 11th month a baby was born. His eyes were blue. He grew up to be smart and tender and an awesome cook. He’s in the other room while I type this.
Before birth I must have signed up for some pretty grim shit in this life, paying it insufficient heed, dazzled no doubt by the prospect of my honey, who would show up in my life (this time) in 1995. That I remember, and every November 11th since. Happy Birthday A!
And a shout out to J, who was born on the same day of the same month some 20 years before A.
Happy Birthday J and thanks for teaching me cross-overs in skating.
On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month I ask us to honour peace and take care of those who have no idea what they give up when they go to war. I do not agree with Canada’s involvement in Afghanistan, but those who have enjoined our young men and women to serve there should be called to account that our soldiers do not receive the care they need upon their return. This should and must be redressed.
On this day I remember that I love and am loved and this should be extended to all the wounded, whether in body or in soul.