I went to the Cenotaph today.

The trains blew their horns long at 11:00. Jets flew overhead in formation. Wreaths were laid. Bagpipes were played. Men and women marched.

I went to honour those who served and died. And those who served and lived.

And those who serve and live.


I went to honour my Brother who has served in the Canadian Army for more than 7 years. The man I could have lost earlier this year in Afghanistan. The call I took in the dead of the night. Because my parents live with us and they are his immediate next of kin the call had to be made to our house. I was the one up with the first ring. The one who didn’t sense the dread until I answered and heard that long distance pause.

“Vicky, it’s me. I’ve been in an accident and I’m hurt.”

The tears that welled up in my eyes mostly from the shock of the call. And then a sense of panic because I could hear the tears in his own voice and I was useless to help him. Thousands of miles away. The voice of someone who was alone without his family close to gather around him when he was hurt.

The convoy he was with had been travelling nonstop for over 36 hours across the deserts North of Kandahar. It wasn’t safe to stop even for a few minutes and the driver of the vehicle he was in fell asleep at the wheel. The truck rolled and all of the equipment in the back crushed the passengers. Thankfully, nobody was killed but a few of them were badly injured. My brother suffered a neck injury that got him sent back to Canada. The same day another vehicle was hit by a roadside bomber. Four soliders dead.

42 Canadians killed in Afghanistan. Some of them had sisters who went to Cenotaph today. Sisters who don’t get to call or write or email this year to say thanks. Thanks for serving our country. Thanks for helping to keep Canada free. I love you. I miss you.


Just as Last Post was being played the sun shone out from behind the black clouds where it seems to have been hiding for weeks. A light breeze picked up the limp flags from their posts and they flew proudly.

…two minutes of warm silence.


2 responses to this post.

  1. So glad your brother is okay. I have a husband who is a captain in the reserves who marched yesterday and a brother-in-law who is planning to go to Afghanistan I’m dreading it.


  2. I am so glad your brother is ok, I just watched about a soldier who lost his legs there (on the National) last night. Totally moving that people put their lives on the line for their country!

    well written!


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