The most memorable Remembrance Day to me happened when I was posted in Kandahar Afghanistan. I was waiting for the bus to come to take myself and some fellow co-workers to the airplane hangar for ceremonies. We were waiting outside the Canadian Tim Hortons and rows of British tanks rolled up. British soldiers were busy loading their automatic rifles that were mounted on the top of the tanks and they were preparing to leave the wire. They were going to what we call a FOB (a base off of our base) and they were stopping to pick up Tim Hortons before they left KAF (Kandahar Air Field, our base was called). Tim Hortons was closed for Remembrance Day ceremonies and they had to leave prior to it reopening. My friend Roxy and I stood there talking to them as they discussed their upset of it being closed but understood why. Our ride never showed up to pick us up, so we started to run to the hangar and the British soldiers, once finished loading their weapons left the base to what we hoped was a successful journey. We arrived at the airplane hangar and lined up. We wore on this day our beige dress pants and red golf shirts. This was our dress clothes for ramp ceremonies (when a soldier was sent home after dying in combat) and for medal ceremonies (when I was blessed to have received my medal for time served) and for special occasions such as Remembrance Day Ceremonies. I stood there, listening to the Bagpipes play (by a talented service man), listening to the service with pride and thinking this day will never be the same for me again, and it never has been. On this day we didn’t have a single rocket attack come into the base (this was likely the only day this didn’t happen my whole tour), and so this year on Remembrance Day I woke to a beautiful message from my parents. They thanked me for my service, how proud they are of me, how they cried for me that morning and that they were glad when I came home (although with some bad memory battle scars, I came home). Messages of thanks from my family and friends and I spent the day remembering friends lost, memories of my time there, good and bad and I thank God for keeping me safe while others weren’t so lucky. Remembrance Day for me means freedom and safety. My son has now decided to follow in my foot steps and is currently joined the Canadian Armed Forces. I spoke to him on Remembrance Day and he thought his first parade was awesome (he’s in basic training) and I look forward to watching him graduate in December. His journey will start where mine ended.
Ruth K – Triovest