Today is Remembrance Day here in Canada, Veterans Day in the United States and Armistice Day in many other countries. It’s a day to reflect and remember the sacrifices and service of those who fought for their country, who answered the call in impossible circumstances. In many Sullivan productions such as Anne of Green Gables, Road To Avonlea and Wind At My Back we touch on aspects of war and we talk about how that affects the people involved and we see how that might have affected their families. On days like this, I find myself thinking of my family, many of whom have been part of the Military and still are.
Like so many others, my Great Grandfather answered the call of his country in 1914 and became one of many soldiers in “The Great War”. He was a farmer, from a small town in Ontario, and having never been able to have the privilege of meeting him, I can’t say what he would have been thinking or feeling. I could try to imagine, try to put myself in his shoes, but somehow I don’t think it would do justice. He did come back from the war; I wouldn’t be here if he hadn’t. He was gassed just before the battle of Vimy Ridge, a battle that he was supposed to be part of along with so many other Canadians, and was eventually sent home before the end of the war. My Mother has told me that he never spoke about his time there and my Grandmother, his daughter, has related the same.
My Grandparents joined the Royal Canadian Air force in the 1950’s. They never were part of any large conflict or war, but they served their country moving from base to base all over Canada and The United States. I respect them immensely for dedicating themselves to that, especially my Grandfather, knowing that if anything ever did happen they would most likely be called upon.
Then there is my Uncle who joined the military to pay for Medical School and has ended up staying for his entire career. He has been active in conflicts in Bosnia and Afghanistan, and back in Canada has had to be the one to receive the bodies of his fallen fellow soldiers. I remember, back when I was in Elementary School, and then High School, what seems so many moons ago, I would pray for him every day. Having gone to catholic school my whole life, the first thing that was done after the national anthem was played was that we all said a prayer together and as we were reciting the words I would think of him, over in Afghanistan, and I would hope that nothing would happen that would leave his children without a Father.
I think we should remember everyday what those who serve do, but on Remembrance Day that is especially poignant. We might not all be able to make it to a ceremony, but we can take a moment to reflect. So at the 11th hour, on this the 11th day of the 11th month, I am going to take that moment in silence and I’ll think of my family and of all the families like my own and of all those who have gone before and will go in the future.
Whatever you do today, however you feel about the things that are going on in the world, be kind to one another.
By Adriana Pacheco, Sullivan Entertainment