My daughter and I went to the Remembrance Day service and dutifully applauded the few old soldiers who remain these 60-plus years after the Second World War and Korean War.
We were in the company of a small percentage of the Maple Ridge population - dismal, really, when you think of it, but easier to get a parking space.
People just don't seem to realize what this day represents to those of us enjoying the fruits of a democracy that was preserved, you might say, through the sacrifice of the young men and women who went to Europe to fight and, in some cases, die.
Excusable in the very young, I guess, but for the rest of us who had parents and grandparents in the forces, not so.
Democracy has made us lazy, we take things for granted, we can't imagine standing or sleeping in a trench surrounded by gunfire or being shot at by anti-aircraft guns or any of the countless horrors these soldiers experienced.
I'm sure a lot of the absentees watched the ceremony from Ottawa on TV, before the football game or, at the very least, bought a poppy; so don't feel bad if you couldn't drag your sorry ass down to the cenotaph for an hour.
But hey take Monday off anyway, because, you know, Nov. 11 fell on a Sunday. Maybe they should discontinue offering this day as a statutory holiday and just have two minutes of silence at work.
I only saw one of my former co-workers at the service, although I'm sure there were others, some of them at other venues, perhaps.
The post office used to have an entry in the parade - way back when there were a lot of vets in the postal service. Not any more, though it is nice to see young people - cubs and brownies and the like - in the parade and we hope they realize why they are there.
I should look on the bright side and agree with the mayor that it was a good turnout but, quite frankly, I don't really care about the numbers because I go there to have my private moments, to remember and honour my parents.
My daughter never got to meet her paternal grandparents and, to her credit, was there for me knowing how much it meant.
On the paramilitary side, I'm getting a lot of feedback on the streets and in the grocery store from my column on the rude boys at the border.
Seems I'm not the only one who has felt intimidated trying to get into the States without having a finger shoved up your butt or elsewhere in a search for illicit substances.
I'm sure that mine and others' boycott of travel to America isn't going to put much of a dent in their tourist revenues, but it might be nice if some federal official took up the cause of examining the pathologically boorish behaviour of the U.S. border guards.
I should mention that I received no hassle on my way back to Canada, probably because I paused to get out of the car and kiss the ground on our side.
Even the legalization of marijuana, a move many have been arguing should have happened up here years ago, will not ingratiate me to Washington State or any other point south of the 49th Parallel.
'Nuf said. Time to return to the Canadian dream, which will include running up lots of purchases on our credit cards as we prepare for Christmas, which celebration will be up and running in short order and full steam ahead with the appearance of X-Mas paraphernalia in downtown stores, Christmas tree lots, the Sally Ann kettle program, and the ubiquitous playing of carols. I'll never be ready and would go to Mexico if I wasn't worried about being shot or Hawaii if it wasn't in the States.
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