Friday, November 11, 2005

Our Day

We enjoyed going to the Remembrance Day Ceremony, even in the rain. We left our house at 9:00 to join our friends and ride with them to Victory Square. It was raining lightly, which is normal for Vancouver, and we all had umbrellas, coats, and warm clothes. The ceremony started at 10:30, and we arrived at the site at 10:00. That meant standing there for 30 minutes, but that was ok too, because the various military divisions were lining up and marching into position. The one that caught my eye was the Scottish Highlands group in their kilts. Seriously, I've never seen that many men in kilts, in person, at one time, and I was fascinated! LOL I asked our friend the significance of a Scottish regiment in Canada, and he told me that there had been a Scottish Highlands regiment fighting in the war (not sure if it was WWI or WWII), and they were fearless in battle and had given their all. So I could understand their importance in the Remembrance Day festivities.

The other group that was interesting was the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Now, we see the RCMP daily; they're "the cops" here, but we don't see them in their ceremonial uniforms every day. Very impressive! I know my brother Ben would have been thrilled to see them!

Tears came to my eyes as I watched the many wheelchair-bound veterans being escorted into Victory Square. I made the comment to Wes that a veteran is a veteran in any nation - a man or woman who served their country willingly. One older gentlemen that caught my attention was not in a wheelchair, but in the parade. I don't know which regiment he was marching with, but there he was, stooped over and bent, but still marching just as proudly as any young man marching off to war!

The ceremony itself was very formal. The Vancouver Bach Youth Choir sang several selections, including several old majestic hymns. A chaplain led in prayer. God is still included in ceremonies, but why not in everyday life?

I mentioned the light rain, right? Well, just as the ceremony started, the rain began to pour! Our family of five had three umbrellas among us, so I wasn't worried about staying dry. I wasn't counting on the effect of a heavy rain shedding off three umbrellas. I also didn't remember that I'm the shortest in our family, so I ended up in the middle of everyone. Because of the different heights of those around me, I was under all three umbrellas . . . which were all shedding water like a waterfall. Long story short, my arms were soaked, as were my feet. My coat is water-resistant, but not water-proof. By the time I'd stood in the rain and wind and 40-degree temps for over an hour, I was freezing. We went back to our friends' house for lunch, and thankfully they had some dry clothes I could borrow. Nothing in this life feels better than taking off wet clothes and putting on dry! LOL It didn't take long to warm up once I had on dry clothes and socks, and then I got so sleepy! We spent the afternoon with our friends, and even got to talk to their daughter who is in the States in college. So we had a nice day, and made some fun memories.

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