Remembrance

 

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge.

Since our memorable 2012 visit to the Canadian National Memorial in Vimy I have posted many of my photographs from that moving visit over the past four years together with my video Lest We Forget made from those photos. To commemorate today’s solemn celebrations I am posting links to two of the posts for those of you who might wish to revisit them and welcome those of my new followers who might be interested in seeing them for the first time.

Remembering The Battle of Vimy Ridge: April 9-12 1917

Remembrance Day 2013

Lest we forget.

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We Remember matted and framed.

On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of The Battle of Vimy Ridge.

brought to you by the color blue

After the colors green, red and yellow today is very much a blue day, as I dedicate today’s post to those killed and injured in Sweden’s capital city of Stockholm today in yet another barbaric act of terror, and send heartfelt condolences and sympathy to their families and friends.

Once again clicking on each image will take you to its original post.

      

      

      

      

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For this week’s photo challenge from The Daily Post Krista asks us to share a photo that depicts our interpretation of “security.”

Given the events of the last 24 hours I hope you will allow me to become political today.

The photograph is of the entrance to the United Nations Building in New York, which I took in 1965 on my first visit to this greatest of cities as a young student visiting America for the first time.

Yesterday, like all of you, I saw the horrific images from the nerve gas attack on the people of the city of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province, northern Syria, images that will haunt me for many years to come. Children gasping for air, suffocating, and dying along with their family members in a war crime that is now imprinted on the minds of all of us. There are not enough words to express the anger, despair and sorrow that we all feel today as we express our deepest sympathy to all those who have suffered, and continue to suffer, from this atrocity.

This morning I watched the webcast of the 7915th meeting of the UN Security Council in which each member of the council made a statement concerning “The situation in the Middle East (Syria)” as the session was entitled. Watching the representatives and listening to their statements it felt as if we are living in an alternative universe and witnessing another moment in time in which truth, facts and reality never seemed more unattainable.

Two moments among many stood out. The first was the Russian delegate who claimed that the Nobel Peace Prize nominated White Helmets had staged the event implying that we were witnessing actors pretending to die and foam at the mouth. No commentary that I have read or heard so far has, as yet, condemned these words.

The second moment was Nikki Haley, the President of the Council and the US Representative, holding up two graphic photographs that I have blurred for obvious reasons, and asking the Russian representative to look at them. “How many more children have to die before Russia cares” she said. Her words were powerful and worth listening to. At the end of this post I have provided a link to the UN broadcast that I would encourage you to visit when you have the time.

Will there be a resolution to come from this. One doubts it, but we can only hope. Here is the link to the UN Council meeting.

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Westminster Bridge matted and framed

Dedicated to the memory of PC Keith Palmer, Aysha Frade, Kurt Cochran and Leslie Rhodes.

London’s bridge of sighs today

Although we moved to Vancouver over forty years ago, part of my heart will always be in London where I was born and brought up. Today, a year to the day after the terrorist attacks in Brussels, that heart breaks again for all those who were killed and injured on Westminster Bridge and the Palace of Westminster, as I send my deepest sympathy and heartfelt condolences to all of their families and friends.

Earth has not anything to show more fair:
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty…

William Wordsworth   Composed upon Westminster Bridge, Sept. 3, 1802

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These six beautiful fallen maple leaves that featured in my post to celebrate the first day of Fall last September have such a different meaning today. With a breaking heart I send condolences and sympathy to the six families who lost their loved ones in the terrorist attack in Quebec City last night and to those recovering in hospital I wish a full and speedy recovery.

WPC: Resilient

In this week’s final Weekly Photo Challenge of the year Ben asks us to “share a photo of something that says “resilient” to you. It could be a local landmark that has survived through the decades …. or of a ritual or tradition that you (or people in your community) have successfully preserved. Show us something that has endured.”

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What could be more fitting for this final day of the year than this photo from the Remembrance Day Ceremony around the “local landmark” of the Cenotaph in Victory Square here in Vancouver on November 11th this year.  It is an event that has been respectfully preserved and attended by many, many thousands each year and is certainly something that has “endured,” as it has all over the world.

If you would like to see more images from this year’s ceremony and read a special story that I wrote about it, open drawer 21 of my New Year’s Eve Retrospecteave that I posted today. No, that is not a misspelling and the reference to the drawer will become quickly evident.

On yet another day of terror our sympathy and thoughts are with those killed and injured in Istanbul today to whom I would like to dedicate today’s post. We will all need to remain resilient in the year ahead.

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in the words of JFK

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 “Ich bin ein Berliner”

With condolences and deepest sympathy to all those suffering loss and injury today.

backdrop to a life

Yesterday was one of those perfect days in Vancouver that needs to be shared.

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The North Shore mountains, the West End skyline and the shadowed sands of Kitsilano Beach.

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Looking out above the logs to English Bay and the snow-covered peaks beyond.

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 A perfect afternoon for bicycling through the park.

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Who wouldn’t want to stroll in the afternoon sunshine on such a day?

No surprise to those of you who follow The Changing Palette that I would choose this special place to write about in response to this week’s Discover Challenge from the Daily Post: Finding Your Place, in which we are asked by Cheri to bring a place alive that means something to us. But more than that, Cheri writes, “the heart of this challenge is to go further and show how or why this place is particularly special”.

I have shared so many photos from Kitsilano Beach and English Bay over my nearly four years of blogging that the “how” is really self evident.

But what about the “why”? Well, here is my answer.

In 1975, on our first wedding anniversary, my wife and I came to Vancouver from England. We moved into a one bedroom apartment in Kitsilano just a few hundred yards from Kitsilano Beach Park. The following March, on one of our regular walks along the path you see in all of the photos, my wife went into labor and a few hours later our beautiful daughter was born.

The beach was the perfect place to walk with the pram or stroller whatever the time of year, and soon a little brother joined our daughter on those same walks. It soon became a place to stomp in puddles, to take training wheels off bicycles, to bury dad in the sand, to laugh on the swings and slides, to walk with my wonderful late parents whenever they visited, to enjoy the four seasons with the changing colours of autumn, the few days of frost and snow in winter to be followed by the warmth of spring and the heat of summer filled with magnificent skies and those unforgettable sunsets creating silhouettes of lovers sitting on logs or people playing beach volley ball in the dying light.

I could go on and on but I’m beginning to sound like Dylan Thomas. I think you can understand why this place is so special, so meaningful to me, as it has been and continues to be, the beautiful backdrop to our lives over these past forty years.

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Yesterday’s walk, as it always does, lifted my spirits at a time when they are being crushed by the daily news and pictures of new atrocities a world away to the people of Aleppo, particularly to the children; and also as we remember the tragedy of the murdered children of Sandy Hook Elementary School four years ago today. I know you feel as I do that these moments must never be forgotten and so it is with a heavy heart that I pause and dedicate today’s post to the memory of all of these precious lost souls.