Remembering Our Elders On This Most Sacred of Days

By Christopher di Armani

Dateline: Kindersley, Saskatchewan, November 11, 2004

A small town in rural Saskatchewan. Stocked with good upstanding Canadians, like hundreds of thousands of other small communities across this great nation.

Services here today were not graced by the presence of "famous" people or politicians, just good, hardworking folks who believed in paying tribute to their elders, the men and women who have given their lives for the freedoms we enjoy today.

As I sat in the pew of the Kindersley church, my eyes wandered over the two rows of veterans being honored here today. Some in good health, one man in a wheelchair with a breathing tube, another walking with a cane, another with failing eyesight. Two men wore UN blue berets, signifying service in UN missions sanctioned by Canada.

They were all rightfully the centre of attention this Remembrance Day. This small town sent dozens of its young men and women off to war in past years.

They were the ones who came home. So many didn't.

One of the speakers, an eloquent lady, spoke of the significance of the day, of the meaning of the words "We Shall Never Forget". The significance of the stone cairn here in town, indeed in towns all across Canada. Stones placed with reverence for those who paid the ultimate price for protecting freedom.

Hymns were sung in praise of God and the Queen. God first, of course. He did, after all, come before the queen.

But it was the end of the ceremony that touched me most.

Tradition in this small town, at least, was simple. Those honored veterans were asked to march out first. Everyone else came second.

As they should.

  Christopher di Armani is a freelance writer based in Lytton , BC . He can be reached at


Copyright 2004