Today I was assigned to cover the Remembrance Day Ceremonies here in Shelburne. I was more than happy to take the assignment as I have an affinity for our Veterans, for without them we may not be here today. I arrived early to find the best camera vantage point, and in looking, I ran across an fair number of people from Toronto to Windsor. At first I approached it as another photo assignment, and then when the parade Veterans started to march it hit my emotions full force, tears started to well up in my eyes so that it was getting really hard to focus the camera, I had to take a few deep breaths to regain my composure.
There are roughly 163,500 Canadian Second World War Veterans who are still alive, but with an average age of 86, their population is quickly dwindling.
There is only one surviving Canadian Veteran from the First World War, 109-year-old John Babcock. And as of today we have lost 133 of our finest young men and women in Afghanistan.

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The Army Soldier stood and faced God,
Which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shining,
Just as brightly as his brass.
‘Step forward now, Soldier,
How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek?
My Church have you been true?’
The soldier squared his shoulders and said,
‘No, Lord, I guess I ain’t.
Because those of us who carry guns,
Can’t always be a saint.
I’ve had to work most Sundays,
And at times my talk was tough.
And sometimes I’ve been violent,
Because the world is awfully rough.
But, I never took a penny,
That wasn’t mine to keep….
Though I worked a lot of overtime,
When the bills got just too steep.
And I never passed a cry for help,
Though at times I shook with fear.
And sometimes, God, forgive me,
I’ve wept unmanly tears.
I know I don’t deserve a place,
Among the people here.
They never wanted me around,
Except to calm their fears.
If you’ve a place for me here,
Lord, It needn’t be so grand.
I never expected or had to much,
But if you don’t, I’ll understand.
There was a silence all around the throne,
Where the saints had often trod.
As the Soldier waited quietly,
For the judgment of his God.
‘Step forward now, you Soldier,
You’ve borne your burdens well.
Walk peacefully on Heaven’s streets,
You’ve done your time in Hell.’

~Author Unknown~

If you care to offer the smallest token of recognition and appreciation for the Military, please pass this on and pray for our men and women who have served and are currently serving our country and pray for those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for freedom.