Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Remembrance Day

The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month commemorates the date of the end of the First World War so in all Commonwealth countries like our own, a day of remembrance is observed in memory of those who were lost to us while “fighting the good fight”.  Now don’t get me wrong, I’m am a Canadian and I strongly believe in peacekeeping rather than policing or invading Countries without concrete reasons but I do believe that Remembrance Day is important since it does play a big role in reminding us that there is always a human cost to war. 

Nowhere in North American (with the exception of maybe Hawaii) knows more about this than those who lived in the Navy port city of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Since we are the closest port to the European allies with a deep harbour that does not freeze, we played a significant role in supply routes across the Atlantic Ocean.  War time was not a fun time in Nova Scotia. In fact, Halifax Harbour is the site of the Halifax Explosion which happened when two ships collided, one carrying a full load of ammunition en route for Europe during WWI and is still the largest man-made non-nuclear explosion to date and is responsible for killing approximately 1,800 civilians almost instantly and levelling most of the downtown area..

Picture of the Devastation caused in Downtown Halifax a few days after the Halifax Explosion

WWII was no walk in the park for Nova Scotia either. Germany U-Boats swarmed our coastlines looking to pick off any ship that could possibly be carrying any supplies to the allies in Europe.  Blackouts were mandatory to keep the U-Boats from detecting the city, and an influx of sailors caused shortage of infrastructure and housing spaces. The constant anxiety of another collision and the devastation that follows, permeated the province. So on November 11th, Nova Scotia honours all those who have sacrificed both big and small and also remembers the lessons learned in WWI and II, to resolve issues and conflicts before it’s too late and give peace a fighting chance.
An aerial view of the merchant ship awaiting Naval Escort in Bedford Basin at the mouth of Halifax Harbour

Here is a video from the Nova Scotian artists, The Trews, called Highway of Heroes which marks the journey that our fallen soldiers make when they return to Canada before being laid to rest.

1 comment:

  1. Adore! My cousin died in Afghanastan in March of '06 - This song really makes it hit close to home - Again.