Even as children we would stop at 11:00 AM in our skipping games or scrub baseball and bow our heads to be quiet for a minute or so. I remember stopping during a skipping song..." Christopher Columbus, sailed the ocean blue, in 14 hundred and 92, and the waves kept getting higher and higher......." We stood still at about 11:00 as called by our dominant girl skippper, and waited until she started the rest of the skipping chant. Children did their own rituals in the olden days. Is that a good thing? It was all very serious to my pre-teen girlfriends and me, and we believed our prayers made a difference in this wild world.
I am listening to stories now on CBC about under-age soldiers who got accepted to be 'old enough to fight' in our armies. The median age of the 'Old Enoughs" was 14 but the researchers found one boy who was 10 when he was accepted. Boys had many good reasons to try to join up....alchoholic abusive fathers on the farm, domineering parents who worked the children too hard, or children with fathers who had been killed already and needed to be avenged.
Even Old Man Watching decided to follow me this year to go up the street to the village cenotaph. The veterans (that could march), the cadets, the cub scouts, and RCMP etc. paraded around the village streets back to the cenotaph.
The service was across the street from the Legion. Our Anglican Deacon, Lois Petty, who is also the Legion's chaplain, did the prayers and a compassionate and touching story about how young the German boys looked on the last day of the war.
Different groups and individuals went forward to place their wreaths at our wee cenotaph.