Let’s pause to remember

Side view 1 of Carey Price's Remembrance mask

I don’t want to go to Don Cherry on y’all, but take a moment on Friday morning to think about Canada’s fighting men and women.

Especially the ones who didn’t come back.

Remembrance Day isn’t just about hockey masks.

John McCrae’s In Flanders Fields gets many readings on Nov. 11.

My taste runs more toward Wilfred Owen, writing about the senseless meat-grinder that was the Great War:

74 Comments

  1. Danno says:

    Love in Action

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-WwyeIdwgio

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  2. issie74 says:

    Doug Harvey – Royal Canadian Navy – 5 Norris Trophy’s

    NorthTOHab

  3. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …thank you Mike for appreciating the seriousness of what this day means

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY
    http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=423049

  4. slychard says:

    I do not know of any servicemen from my family except from an uncle I met when very young. I shook his hand which was missing several fingers, while I noticed his prosthetic limbs, it left quite an impression on my young mind. Dieppe.WWII. I’ve red up on that fiasco. On this day of remembrance my thoughts always lies on those valiant Canadians who raided France in 42. God bless.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Kiss my hAbSS!!!

  5. B says:

    In Flanders fields the poppies blow
    Between the crosses, row on row,
    That mark our place; and in the sky
    The larks, still bravely singing, fly
    Scarce heard amid the guns below.

    We are the Dead. Short days ago
    We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
    Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
    In Flanders fields.

    Take up our quarrel with the foe:
    To you from failing hands we throw
    The torch; be yours to hold it high.
    If ye break faith with us who die
    We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
    In Flanders fields.

    ———————–
    John McCrae 1915

  6. RGM says:

    Many heroes to remember today. I was fortunate enough to have two great-grandfathers survive The Great War, and to have my paternal grand-parents make it through WWII. I have an annual tradition of going through my great-grandfathers’ military records (which are available at Library and Archives Canada – fascinating stuff for anybody who wants to peer into the past) and seeing their stories.

    ———————–
    GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is our year!
    RGM’s Movember page: http://mobro.co/RGM81

  7. HabinBurlington says:

    Just read through the thread and all the different stories of how our families were affected by the war. Really hope we never see something like those wars again.

    My families story is an odd one, but end of day my Father lost his father, mother, and two sisters by age 12. He then was captured and grew up in a war camp until near the age of 20. When he got his trade he immigrated to Canada. I lost him years back, but despite being born in a different continent he would do anything for this great great Country that gave him the taste of freedom he experienced no where else.

  8. never forget b.j. blazkowicz, without him, wed be overrun with überzoldaten

    seriously tho, heres to you grandad

  9. Sharks9 says:

    It’s also important to remember that there were some Germans who also tried to get rid of Hitler and stop the war and they deserve to be remembered for fighting against their own country, which is not an easy decision to make.

    There’s a memorial to their resistance in Germany and an inscription that reads.

    You did not bear the shame.
    You resisted.
    You bestowed an eternally vigilant symbol of change
    by sacrificing your impassioned lives for freedom, justice and honor.

    25 before 14

  10. OneTimer says:

    Nice post, Boone. Classy as always. I’m just a young whipper-snapper at 26 so I don’t have family stories like a lot of you… but even I know the importance of reflection on a day like today. Thank you to all veterans past, present and (in a perfect world there wouldn’t be any more, but…) future.

  11. Bripro says:

    My father was a sergeant major in WWII, and my grandfather was in WWI.
    My dad’s best friend and neighbour from London, Ont saved dad’s life by diving on a masher/grenade while they were sitting eating lunch.
    In my father’s eyes, there could be no greater sacrifice.
    We bicker and argue over petty issues, so as to satisfy our egos, and be heard.
    Yet, today’s vets are given grief for trying to sell poppies in super markets and shopping centres just so that those they’ve paved a better world for, can say thank you for their sacrifices.
    Perhaps when you see an older person crossing the street or having difficulty opening a door, we can do the simplest of things, what God had intended, and that is to show respect, not contempt or impatience.
    To all of you who’ve been victims of war directly or through someone you loved, may life spring eternal for you.

  12. Hobie Hansen says:

    I am somewhat naive when it comes to the Second World War and the years following it, leading up to the present day. Yes I’m naive about something else besides the Habs ;-) .

    I know about Pearl Harbor, Normandy, The United States reluctance to enter the war at first and all about Hiroshima.

    However, I always wonder what the Germans and their allies were thinking before, during and after the war? What do people in Germany think about on Remembrance day today?

    Is there still any hostilities on a day like today in the minds of the Germans and their former allies against countries like Canada, USA and the UK?

  13. Chris says:

    Two of the best novels I have ever read are, strangely, both damning accounts of the futility and waste of war from the perspective of Germans who fought in those wars.

    “All Quiet on the Western Front” by Erich Maria Remarque and “The Willing Flesh” (or ‘The Cross of Iron” by Willi Heinrich are both great books that really drive home the horror of the World Wars.

    And in many respects, they both drive home that the survivors of war, both the soldiers and the civilians, are as deserving of our remembrance as those that lost their lives.

    War is hell, and represents the absolute worst of humanity. The fact that there remains a need for war (and there does, tragically) in a world of such wealth, innovation and creavity is without question the greatest failure of our civilization.

    • SmartDog says:

      Good post.

      There’s a reason I think, when our favorite novels or music or whatever, seems to hit a theme. I’m not saying what the reason is…I just think there must be a reason for why that resonates so well with you.

      I often notice that songs running through my head are comments on what we I’m doing or feeling. For a long time the only jokes I could remember – ALL the jokes I could remember were religious. Growing up Catholic, not really understanding the very pious (and to me as a kid overly-serious) guys in black… well that became funnier and funnier later.

      ————————————-
      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  14. B37zc says:

    I’m part Ukrainian, part Russian.
    And I have very strange feelings on this day. First, of course this is really important to pay respect and remember veterans.
    But second…. God damn those wars. After first WW tens of thousands of Ukrainians were taken to concentration (labour) camps in Canada. Canada never excused for that.
    Then that story about Bosnia. Canadians and Americans came to Balkans to serve so called “peacekeeping” mission. Killing people and bombing cities and towns.
    I dont want to talk here about politicians and who was right and who was wrong. In my country there is no single family without someone who died during WWII.
    But lets not forget about just people, not soldiers, who died on both sides during any war.

    Sorry, if my english is not proper.

    • Habfan29 says:

      agree many innocent people died for no reason at all…..

    • ooder says:

      same here.. I am from Kharkov.. and you are so right about not a single family that wasn’t affected.
      very tragic.. war brings out the worst people
      ——————
      The 2010-11 Stanley Cup was not won, but given

    • And if we didn’t go to the former Republic of Yugoslavia, those people would still be killing each other. There’s killing ,and then there’s what those three groups were doing to each other. It was disgusting, and to this day I still can not believe what humans are capable of doing to each other. Savages! There’s not a day goes by I don’t think about my missions from the 90′s……I better stop, this is a day about remembering the heroes, and I refuse to get angry over what you just said.

      God Bless Our Infantry

      Shane Oliver
      http://www.Sholi2000.com
      Brandon, MB,Canada
      R7B 2R7
      hockey@sholi2000.com
      Ph- 204 724 8418

      • B37zc says:

        Shane, thats why I said I’m not going to talk about who is right and who is wrong. I was talking about civilians in all those wars. About may Germans, who were forced get into that Hell. About Serbians, Albanians. About Polyaks who were brutally killed by soviet soldiers and german gestapos.
        I’m talking about civillians.

  15. JD_ says:

    And each waning day,
    as the sea mourns alone,
    the soft sound of Taps
    flows over the fields,
    saying yes, we remember,
    the brave deeds you’ve done,
    we remember your faces eternally
    young.

  16. Habfan29 says:

    thanks for removing MontrealAthiest post, the reason he can spew that crap is because of the Sacrifices of all out military and civilain personel that contributed to the war effort. My grandfather illegally crossed the border from the US to Canada and lied about his age. he was 16 when he enlisted. He served 6 years in Europe and only told me once about his experiences there and that was the only time he spoke of them. It was Hell for them and I thank him everyday for his sacrifice so that we can have our freedom today….

    thanks Grandpa

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      I didn’t read the original post but isn’t yours self-contradictory?

      Thank you for censoring someone who doesn’t know how lucky they are to live without censorship?

    • Ton says:

      I could only imagine what the montreal Athiest said. I want him banned or I remove my membership to hockey inside out. One of his posts last month made mention to Mr Gainey and how brutal he was and he made reference to his departed daughter in the same sentence. How disgusting it was; remove him from here please . To more important issues here’s to freedom, god bless your grandfather and others.

  17. filincal says:

    Let us not forget the men and women who served…but also the innocent civilians caught in the crossfire. Some wars aren’t always about freedom, but have more to do with greed and power.
    Unless there already is a day to remember them also.

  18. Greg says:

    Good post Boone. Lest We Forget.

    Here’s a weird war story for you. My family is of German ancestry, but immigrated to Canada in the late 1800s. My grandparents and great uncles all fought in WWII. Several years ago, we were looking through photos of a POW camp in Northern Ontario, very close to where my family is from. There’s a photo of a German prisoner with my last name. I wonder if he knew he was a 20 minute drive from his Canadian relatives… Would’ve been an interesting family reunion.

    Strange how a decision to immigrate can put a family on opposite sides of a war. Makes the whole thing seem so senseless.

  19. MilaKunis says:

    Freedom is not free. A lot of people take their freedom for granted.

    I respect every sailor and soldier that have fought and died to protect our freedom. As well as those who currently serve.

    My brother was in the RMR. Many of my relatives have served in every major branch in the US Armed Forces. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard.

    Thank you. I salute you all.

  20. Toe Blake says:

    I’m with you Mike. To this day, one of the best books I ever read about the Great War was Robert Graves’ “Good-Bye to All That.”

  21. G-Man says:

    A little math thingy for you today.
    if you take the last 2 digits of the year you were born and add your age, it will equal 111. Yet another thingy in the amazing world of 11/11/11.

  22. Danno says:

    11/11/11

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  23. stevieray says:

    My grandfather and all his 4 brothers served in WWII. All returned thankfully even thogh 1 spent 2 years ina Japanese POW camp. I still have Gramp’s medals,Beret,Company Picture and his pay book …..
    Thanks Grampie RIP

  24. DEANDALLEY says:

    My uncle spent 3.5 years in a Hong Kong Prison Camp in WWII.

    God bless his departed soul ….

    WE SHALL NOT FORGET!

    “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing”

  25. SeriousFan09 says:

    One can never forget the valiant service of men and women doing things that we can not fathom, without reservation on their part.

    My thanks to the veterans, I shall always remember.

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
    SF09 on Twitter

  26. Ian Cobb says:

    Everyone has stories to tell, but do not forget the ones just home from wars and missions over the past number of years. They and their families suffer in silence.

    Seek them out and take care of them and their families today.! For what they have done for us my friends.

    Do it, do not just talk about it folks.

  27. avatar_58 says:

    My grandmother (RIP) was in one of those concentration camps and apparently managed to get out because she could sew.

    If that hadn’t happened I wouldn’t exist. I can’t even begin to imagine the numbers involved in those camps.

  28. Gerry H says:

    Thanks, old man. The grandson you never knew keeps the sand we collected on Juno beach in a jar on his dresser. The picture he took of me walking through the forest near Vimy, not twenty miles from where your war ended in the Pas-de-Calais, sits framed beside the picture of you in your ill-fitting uniform. We did what we could to unravel the mystery of your time over there by walking, biking and driving through Courseulles-sur-mer, Caen, Falaise, Dieppe and on to Abbeville. But we know it was your secret to keep or tell.

    Your story, not ours. But we keep it, too.

  29. Mattyleg says:

    In the early morning of April 7, 1916, my great-grandfather, William Aston, was taken prisoner by the Germans during the disastrous St. Eloi Craters operation. After spending 18 hours in a crater filled with a sort of soup of human remains, mud, water, and rats, under heavy German crossfire, he and his eleven comerades surrendered. He spent the rest of the war working on a German farm.

    My grandfather, Yves Legault, volounteered in 1940 and fought with the Royale 22e Régiment in Sicily, Italy, and Holland. He was declared MIA after a German ambush decimated his platoon. After 5 days and nights hiding out in the Italian mountains, he finally managed to rejoin an allied unit. He never spoke about his wartime experiences.

    My father-in-law, another 22e, was posted in Bosnia with the UN. The stories he tells are chilling, but he saved many many lives during his time there.

    My grandmothers both worked as part of the war effort, in Canada and in England, and I consider them veterans too.

    Thank you to Canadian troops, past and present.
    We remember.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  30. Chuck says:

    I recently heard an interview with a WWII vet who had been part of the invasion of Normandy. After exiting his landing craft, he was shot twice–in the face–before he even got out of the water. After hitting the beach, he was hit twice more, including shoulder and stomach.

    Medics managed to get to him an bandage him up enough so that he could be evacuated back off of the beach. Lying on a stretcher while waiting to be put aboard a boat, he was shot clear through his knee, though the now 90-something year old described that last wound as “comparatively, not so bad.”

    Some people look at November 11th as a day off work, or as an inconvenience of having to stand out in the cold, blustery rain for a half-hour at 11am.

    I would suggest that after hearing the old vet’s story, you could describe YOUR half-hour as “comparatively, not so bad.”

  31. HabinBurlington says:

    To any members past or present of our armed forces who visit this site, Thank-You, We do remember.

  32. B37zc says:

    please, carefully read my message. Its not about “innocent” evil regimes of Hitler or Soviets. And I do not blame Canada for that fact.
    I simply want to take your attention to the normal people on both sides.
    Any nation has some black marks on its history.


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