Remembrance Day, to me, conjures up images of the World Wars.  I think about mothers, like me, with sons who were drafted and never came home and with sons who were drafted and did come home, scarred.  I think about the elderly veterans who have seen and experienced unimaginable things, and I think about their mothers crying with joy when their sons came home. 
I admit I don’t always think about Afghanistan.  It’s strange, because my husband’s close friend, someone who I admire, has served over there, and yet that is not what immediately comes to mind on Remembrance Day. 
At school all the kids made postcards for Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan, “Postcards for Peace”.  They were to be given to a soldier, a master corporal, at their Remembrance Day assembly today.  Each class had a student present the soldier with their postcards, and Jake was selected from the kindergarten class to do this.
The master corporal first spoke to the children about Remembrance Day, about serving in Afghanistan, using terms and anecdotes that were appropriate for a young audience.  He spoke about the heat, and the houses made from mud, and the children who would come and ask the troops for candy and pens and paper, the children with no schools and no toys, the children who would point out the landmines to the soldiers.  He spoke about the children who were killed when a bomb went off near the military base, and how they did not allow local children to approach them any more due to the inherent dangers.  He explained that his own parents were worried when he went on his tour of duty; he said that he was their special boy, and that they were worried that he would be hurt.
The children from each class lined up to give the master corporal their postcards.  Jake was last.  He walked towards him, the length of the gymnasium, and then turned to go back to his seat, postcards still in hand.  Prompting from a teacher had him heading back towards the soldier, only to take another wrong turn.  Finally, the soldier in his dress uniform crouched down, smiling and beckoning to Jake, who was proudly dressed up in his new shirt with a poppy pinned to it.  Jake solemnly handed the soldier his class’ contributions.
And I thought, there is my special boy.


  1. beautifully written, Nicole. Brought tears to my eyes.

  2. Great, now I am crying at work. Way to go, Jake.

    What a fantastic post.


  3. Beautiful! Tears in my eyes…

  4. Wow.

  5. Nicole, thanks for sharing your special boy and this special moment with us. Happy Remembrance Day.

  6. I also had tears in my eyes, reading this. Lovely and thought-provoking.

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