Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Day

I'm on a tight schedule today, so can't make the big Memorial Day post I had been planning. To be quite truthful, I hadn't decided at all what to write about, merely that it was going to be big, and wasn't going to feature John McCrae's very fine poem, merely because it is a good poem and everybody quotes it. I was hoping there might be something obscure lurking in the archives somewhere that would offer a similar, but startlingly unfamiliar view of the sentiment of the day, but if there is, I never did come across it. . .anyway, it would have to be something rather exquisite to equal the appropriateness of McCrae's concise verses, as overly familiar as they may be to us these days.

Since I have about five minutes to type out something, and since I am already on the topics of Canadians and Memorial Day, when I was north of the border, I was most impressed by a grand custom that they had up there. They have Remembrance Day, of course, which is equivalent to our Memorial Day (and, rather confusingly, celebrated the same day we celebrate Veteran's Day in November). The whole week leading up to Remembrance Day, however, it is extremely common to see people wearing poppies on their coats--even the newscasters on TV. This matter-of-fact display of respect was quite staggering to a foreigner like myself, and it certainly carried the spirt of the commemoration splendidly. The American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars sell poppies around Memorial Day, but you rarely see anyone wearing them down here. It would be a custom worth establishing.

No comments: