Yesterday I had the privilege of attending the Remembrance Day service at Ardmore School. I was especially touched by two events in the service. The first was a student who sang lyrics to a Remembrance Day poem her mother wrote more than twenty years ago. The second was the slideshow which depicted soldiers in the trenches. One image in particular stuck with me: the battlefield is total muck – the soldier in the forefront of the picture is spattered with mud from head to foot, but sitting with his head held high and a sense of purpose about him.
On the way home, I enjoyed the beauty of a rainbow. Like the picture, the colours were painted across the sky in a perfect semi-circle. I thought about stopping and capturing a picture, but as I drove on the rainbow literally evaporated before my eyes.
You may wonder why I have chosen to connect rainbows and Remembrance Day. The beauty of rainbows is fleeting – rainbows only exist when mist and light intersect. Remembrance Day is only celebrated (by most of us) once a year. I am realizing how easy it is to take beauty and our freedoms for granted. We talk about the sacrifices veterans made for us, but will we truly ever understand how much our freedoms cost? For some soldiers, the price was their lives. For others it was loss of limb, loss of the ability to provide for their families, loss of the future they dreamed of. I have never experienced the brutality of war, and maybe I never will. But each day I can be thankful for the many freedoms I too often take for granted. In this way, I will remember and continue to honour the precious gift our veterans have given. Will you join me?