Saturday, November 12, 2005

Remembrance Day

I just have to share a great moment from today:

As we all know, today is Remembrance Day (I think in the States it's called Veteran's Day?). Well, for the past number of years, our church has been holding a Remembrance Day service in the neighbourhood. I've never been able to attend, but today I was available and in the area, so I went with Mom.

I thought it was outdoors, in some generalized area of the neighbourhood. No - It's actually right inside one of the office buildings. When we first arrived, all I saw was a huge empty space, a hallway where two escalators meet. "Wow", I thought, "Glad I came, cause no one else is going to show up." Boy, was I wrong.

At 10:50am, the bagpipes started to play, and the people came out of nowhere. They flooded in from all directions. Dad started things off with a welcome from the church. We sang O Canada, and Flanders Field was read. The trumpet played Taps and the Reveille, with the pipes back in for the Lament. Jamie H lead us all in the singing of O God Our Help In Ages Past. That's right - a hymn! Right there in the middle of an office building! Crazy and awesome.

Wonderful Catherine K lead us in the prayer of St. Francis. A pastor from the Evangel Temple, another neighbourhood church, lead us in more prayers, and we finished with God Save the Queen and, of course, more pipes.

The whole event was short, but so powerful. Dad had crests available for any veterans in the crowd. It was a fairly young crowd, but several people came up to get them for their parents. Our veterans - retired, but not forgotten. They thought they were fighting the "war to end all wars". The results of war were so disastrous; they couldn't imagine another generation choosing to put their children into war ever again.

I found this morning so powerful. It amazes me how we still all gather in public places to honour these great people who fought that we could live in peace. Usually it takes a parade or a band or free food to get people to leave their routines. And it amazed me that we were allowed to be a Christian presence in a public place. Toronto is so concerned with being "politically correct" that it's "incorrect" to show any public displays of prayer, faith, or God. But here we were, praying and singing hymns in a very public, very corporate space.

He really does work in mysterious ways...

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