Bondi Resort Blog

Come on into our Blog for a look at the wonderful world we've got to share! With over 240 hectares (600 acres) of wilderness woodlands surrounding the resort, just ten minutes from Algonquin Park, we feature over 400 metres (1200’) of waterfront and beach; boat rentals; summer hiking trails winding through fields and woods; 20 km. of groomed cross country ski trails and snowshoeing in winter; access to nearby snowmobile trails for sledders, and a toboggan hill for the young at heart.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Never Forget. It Seems more important now than ever

Nancy Tapley added 3 new photos.
I was greatly honoured to represent the Township of Lake of Bays at the Remembrance Day service in Dwight. It is not really possible to adequately thank those who have served and sacrificed to build the country we live in today, and that two minutes of silence is indeed a 'pittance of time'. Here it is more a Remebrance Week than a Remembrance Day, as the Legion presents services at the various township cenotaphs -- Dwight was last Saturday, Baysville last Sunday, Huntsville is today. That's a good thing, because it helps to keep the importance and the 'remembering' front of mind. I have been asked for a copy of my words that day, so here it is...
On a day when we are wearing poppies, and listening to the words of a poem with poppies blowing, there are also poppies, falling… In Ottawa every evening you can watch the light show on Parliament Hill. Right now, in partnership with the Royal Canadian Legion, the display every evening, is 117,000 poppies cascading down the Peace Tower and across the Centre Block. One for every fallen Canadian soldier. It is a beautiful and moving display, enhanced by two video screens running a photo montage of veterans who served and sacrificed.
Poppies have come to symbolize the huge human cost of war. Written on the battlefield of Ypres, itself one of the darkest of dark battles. Lt. Col. John McRae wrote the poem we all now know following the death of his good friend. He ripped the poem from his notebook, threw it away. His friend Sgt. Major Allinson picked it up. And it has become probably the best-known war poem.
Poppies, yes… but there are other pictures in that poem. War is a dark, dark place, nothing to glorify. On the battlefield, it was all death, destruction, darkness, but there were larks, singing above the guns below. There were larks – in Peacetime, you can hear the birdsong, and see the beauty in the world. It is a reminder, in that darkest of dark places, that war is not “all” – that there is another world, a better world, a world where larks still bravely singing fly.
Sometimes it is necessary to fight, to march to war, to make the sacrifices. Sometimes there are better solutions, and we should be vigilant that hatred, divisiveness, vilification don’t lead us to put down that other incredible image – the torch, that lights the darkness.
Ours is a small world. The 100 People on Earth Project tells us just how small. There are seven BILLION (with a b) people on the planet. Half don’t live with proper sanitation. 1/3 don’t have safe water. Only 2/3rds have a basic education – 20% cannot read nor write. There are still plenty of places out there that could use a light shining.
In fact, if you have a fridge with food in it, a closet with clothes in it, a bed to sleep in, and any kind of roof over your head, you are richer than 75% of the people of the world.
Fewer than one in ten have anything approaching the rights and freedoms that we so often take for granted every single day. One in ten… This didn’t happen by chance, this society, this country we enjoy today. It happened through the work and vision of those who came before. Those liberties were hard fought, and hard won, on the bloodiest battlefields of two great World Wars, and wars that came more recently. Wars that demanded sacrifices beyond our understanding. We are not yet a world where larks can sing.
Our rights, our freedom, have been defended through a democratic system that allows for a peaceful and regulated exchange of power and policy. The right to these freedoms, that is what these veterans we remember today fought for, died for. A place to unite, not divide; embrace co-operation not separation or conflict; respect our past and welcome for our future -- because, in Diefenbaker’s words, “I am a Canadian. Free to speak without fear; free to worship in my own way; free to stand for what I think is right; free to oppose what I believe is wrong; fee to chose those shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom we must uphold for ourselves and all mankind.
Never forget that. Never take any of that for granted. Pick up that torch, and keep the light shining forward into the darkness.
And above all, be grateful. Be grateful for the sacrifice and struggle of all who served, all who fought for our country; be grateful that in our lifetime we have never faced war on our Canadian soil. Be grateful that we are among the one in ten who enjoy the result of these hard-fought battles. Be grateful that we have the right to freely chose what to be.
Be careful with those choices.
Choose to be grateful. Chose to be vigilant; choose to be humble, choose to be wise; choose to be thankful. Choose to be kind.

1 comment:

  1. Fitting words for the occasion. I saw and photographed the falling poppies display on Parliament Hill... it was very peaceful.