Remembrance Day 2018

November 2, 2018 | Suzanne

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November 11th is Remembrance Day.  This is a day we recognize the men and women who have served during times of war and conflict. We recognize our veterans as the ones who came before us to fight for our freedom so we may live peacefully. We wear a poppy as a symbol of Remembrance Day.  The significance of the poppy can be traced all the way back to the 19th century. Records from that time indicate that poppies grew over the graves of soldiers in the area of Flanders, France.

Poppy field
Photo by wazimuO, used under a Creative Commons license.

In 1915, Canadian Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae wrote the poem "In Flander's Field" in memory of his friend who died in the World War I.  It has become one of the most quoted war poems ever.

In Flander's Field

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
    That mark our place; and in the sky
    The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
    Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
        In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
    The torch; be yours to hold it high.
    If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
        In Flanders fields. 


This month, the library has a number of events happening to recognize Remembrance Day.

On Tuesday November 6th visit the Riverdale Branch for a presentation by Jay Young  commemorating this year's centennial of the First World War. The Archives of Ontario's "Dear Sadie" exhibit is based on a series of letters between Harry Mason, a Canadian soldier fighting overseas, and Sadie Arbuckle, his sweetheart back home, highlighting the personal stories underlying the war. Registration is required.

At the Toronto Reference Library, author Janet Land will be discussing her book Landed: The WWII Journal and Family History of William Douglas Land. Based on the wartime memoirs of her father, the book includes a first-hand account of a British Army officer in India, Ceylon and Italy. The author will explore the historical events that influenced her father's life and also discuss the challenges and rewards of researching and writing a family history.

Landed By Janet Land

On Friday November 9th join Spadina Road library staff for a Remembrance Day Storytime for Children.

Above all, take a moment on November 11th to recognize what the veterans did for us. They fought for our freedom so we may enjoy life in a country that is safe and free.