Tuesday, November 11, 2008

remembrance day

Went to see the movie Passchendaele last night. A made-in-Canada movie by Paul Gross about a small area of Belgium in 1917. It's a somber reminder that war might appear to be about 'big' things like freedom and nations, but it's mostly about 'little' things, like dry matches and little brothers, and relationships that never got past first kisses. My grandfather would have been fighting for the 'huns' in that war. Injured and bed-ridden,  he later committed suicide. Yup, that war never ended for some.

The day before, my daughter interviewed my mom for a college assignment about Remembrance Day. I suggested she focus on the civilian war experience.  My mom, at age 21, was forced to work in a munitions factory until the Soviet tanks were just down the road in February, 1945. Then she was taken as a POW to work in the coal mines of Ural. She asked if she was allowed to write letters home. No.  First there was no home left, and second they had no paper or pens. But what was etched into my heart, was my mom saying that she wrote in her mind, to God. And then she closed her eyes and recited a poem-like prayer that she told God. 

Remembrance Day. It's not just about the soldiers. It's about people.

1 comment:

Barrie said...

"Remembrance Day. It's not just about the soldiers. It's about people."

Lines like this are why I'm waiting impatiently for your book.