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On Remembrance

The Ottawa Pipe Band (or whatever it's called) played It's a Long Way to Tipperary as the veterans marched past Parliament Hill at the end of the ceremonies. I find that inexplicably amusing, in the same inexplicable way that the veterans' march at the end of the ceremonies always reminds me unavoidably of a protest march. Which is both fitting and ironic.

I didn't go out this year to an actual ceremony, but I did watch the Ottawa one on CBC. Yes, I do this every year. Family tradition, which I usually do with family, though the Maple Ridge one is very little and I'm not sure it has any *actual* veterans, at least not many in uniform. But we go and we sing and we stand up straight with our hands properly folded in front of us during O, Canada and God Save the Queen, the latter of which has been out of public schools for ages, which I understand and support, 'cause of the God part, but I still sing 'cause of the Queen part. The PM was crying halfway through, which confirms my hope that if he's an idiot, he still has redeeming qualities.

I still think Clarkson is creepy. There's nothing to be done. She just is.

And... somebody beat me to Flanders Fields. We had a discussion in tutorial last week about whether Flanders Fields was or was not propaganda. I said no, at least not intentionally, because it wasn't British poetry, and it wasn't really published 'til later, and in any case it was written a year or so into the war, and MacRae wrote it on a field of graves, for crying out loud. I never read it as a treatise on the glory and adventure of war. In fact when I was very little, I got the impression that it was intended to render a feeling of shame; which it does, somewhat, in the sense that we are apparently incapable as a species of learning a lesson and remembering it. I never saw it as encouraging others to go to war in their stead, but rather to remember that war is horrible, is never glorious, is never adventurous, that people die, that the main duty of those left alive and those that follow is to do everything possible, everything honourable, to prevent war, and don't you dare ever forget it. But then, I had hippie parents and went to a hippie elementary school. I was perhaps warped beyond rescue at an early age. ;)

*watches the kilted Guard with the fuzzy hats* See, this is why American military/national ceremonies fall short for me. I *like* the pomp and the ceremony and the elaborate uniforms. It sets the whole affair a level above the mundane, which a government, let's face it, really has to be. We have this possibly erroneous impression in democratic nations, at least in North America, that government is something anyone can do... which they can't. It takes discipline and dedication and idealism and sacrifice, which shouldn't be worshipped, but needs to be recognized, because if it isn't, it becomes common, and that's when you get asshats in office. Also our head of state is Queen Elizabeth II, so there is that. It's not just respecting a system you elected, it's recognizing that these people have gone "okay, this is my life now, this is my purpose, and that's that", or so one hopes.

Anyway. If you've got somebody to remember... remember, I guess. If you don't, do, anyway. Even if you disagree with their methods (which, for the record, I mostly do), you've got to respect the conviction.

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reeciebastion
chandri
Chandri MacLeod
Fantasi.net

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