Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Beneath the poppies, row on row

Yesterday was the first November 11th in many years that I have not worn a poppy. I live in a foreign country where they don't do the Poppy Thing.

But it has been a part of my life since I was small, and among my most cherished memories of by sojourn in Nova Scotia, where the martial spirit remains strong, was attending the cenotaph ceremonies in Halifax at the Parade Square. I never fail to weep.

My great grandfather, William Doloughan, served in a mounted regiment in WWI, was captured and contracted TB in the POW camp, which eventually killed him. This did not stop him serving in the Home Guard in WWII. My maternal grandfather, Herbert Burkett, was an airman in the US Air Force. My paternal grandfather, Norman White, served in a tank in in WWI and in land-based communications in WWII.

I've always worn the poppy with them in mind.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I didn't know about the poppy tradition-- sounds lovely. And how wonderful that your grandfathers and great-father served so well. I'm sure you're proud.

I teach high school U.S. history, and I made sure to tell my kids to thank a vet on Tuesday...