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A great family event is attending a local parade.
I never used to be a “parade person”… I couldn’t quite understand the attraction of standing or sitting outside, watching a bunch of people walk past you. And let’s be honest, most parades are in the colder months. Stand outside? Voluntarily? In the cold?? When I could be sleeping???
Three years ago, our oldest son became a Sea Cadet, having been through Beavers and Scouts… he wanted to try out Cadets, and we said sure. It seemed innocent enough, and then he came home with his uniform! I know he’s my son but wow, what a handsome young man he was in uniform (ladies, you know what I’m talkin’ about!!!).
All of that aside, he had a very, very busy first year. He wanted to participate in every single event, which was great, but the second year, I was DREADING November, because of how many events were booked that he participated in, in the first year. Turns out, he only picked a couple of events, obviously any mandatory events, he was there. The Remembrance Day Parade was one of them.
A mom could not be prouder of her child as I was when I saw my handsome son, in full uniform, marching down the street, in unison with everyone else, listening to “Left. Left. Left, Right, Left.” I was hooked… it’s so different when your kids are in one!
I’m not what you would consider a political person. I should pay more attention than I do, but truthfully, I don’t have patience to try to figure out all that hoopla. Most of it is lies anyway.
But, I do consider myself to be pretty patriotic. I have never been known to watch hockey games at 7 a.m…. that is, until Team Canada was playing for gold in the Olympics! Yup… I cracked my sleepy eyes open, after only a few hours of sleep, and I watched the entire game, screaming and cheering, much louder than anyone should be at that ungodly hour!
When Ottawa was attacked by a terrorist in 2014, I mourned with the rest of my country… it felt so personal. It’s amazing how personal it can feel when you have actually visited the area. I didn’t know Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, but, knowing Tyler would want to, we made sure to visit The Regimental Foundation of The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada, the unit from which that Cpl. was from. We thought the same as pretty much every other Hamiltonian, because the base was completely and totally littered with letters, flowers, trinkets and cards. You could NOT walk by all of that with a dry eye. None of my family did (except for Caleb, who didn’t quite understand it the way we did, but he was sad that someone died).
Respects paid to a fallen soldier
So, even with as much zest as I have for sleeping in at every possible opportunity, I am on board with parades. And I believe that attending the Remembrance Day parade is a sign of respect for those who died for our freedoms. Will I continue to attend after my son is no longer in them? He is definitely my incentive to go, for sure, but now that we’ve been to a few, I don’t think it’s something any of us should miss, if at all possible.
Caleb and I, before the parade began
Devin with Caleb… in the clear street before the parade
Back to family events, this past weekend, I prepped chili for the crockpot on Saturday, and Sunday morning, we got up and had breakfast. While getting ready, my husband put on a pot of coffee, and we enjoyed a cup on our way to the parade, and filled a Thermos with more… and filled another Thermos with hot chocolate for Caleb. I also packed some frozen, homemade muffins. The crockpot of chili was on, and it was a beautifully crisp fall day to honour our veterans.
They’ve revamped the downtown core, which is called Gore Park. It used to be where you would go to catch a city bus, but they’ve moved all of the bus stops out of the park area, and have erected memorial plaques, all involving tidbits of history of Canadians and various wars. Photos of various war times throughout history commemorate our veterans in a beautiful way. I hope that it doesn’t get vandalized, because it’s truly something to see.
Tyler, mixed in there somewhere, with his Corps
Tyler looked amazing in uniform, as usual. We were located in the park where The Argyll were situated, and I felt deep compassion for them, since all of them had worked with Cpl. Nathan Cirillo.
The only part of the entire service that I don’t particularly enjoy is the cannons going off… and they scare the crap out of Caleb. We were standing pretty close to it, since it’s RCSCC Lion (Tyler’s cadet corps) who are in charge of firing the cannons. But, after two shots, and some talking that I couldn’t quite hear, everyone in uniform began to march, leaving the park. At one point, I said to my husband, “I dare you to walk anywhere without marching in step to the beat!” Love the bands (and I never used to!)
That was our cue to leave, so we headed back to our Journey, so we could meet Tyler at the barracks.
After all of that fresh air, and the peace that comes with that moment of silence, it was a great day… and even more awesome to come home to dinner already made.
Please share about a parade you’ve attended!