Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Veteran's Week and Not Writing

Yes, I missed blogging on Remembrance Day - I know, unheard of for me to let a military highlight go by. I claim innocence by the fact that I actually had 3 days off work, one of them being Remembrance Day, and that was my last weekend off till after Christmas.

However, this is "Veteran's Week", so I thought I could throw something against the wall and hope it sticks. We attended the city-wide Remembrance Day ceremony at Winnipeg Convention Centre, with my dh in full dress blues, as was everyone else - army and air force. Funny, only Sea Cadets in attendance out here on the Prairies - no Navy.

It's actually a good thing I'm blogging about this late. I was offended and irritated at the same time by the hour-and-a-half long ceremony that was obviously put on for political purposes to satisfy every special interest group in the city, and NOT our vets. It was put on by some "Joint Veterans Committee", so maybe that's where the problem started.

It took an actual twenty minutes to lay the wreathes; every Nurses Association, Kiwanis, whoever, had to lay a wreath. Ridiculous. The speaker's remarks were cut to almost nil, but there were so many people "participating" that it strung out the service to the breaking point. The final insult was the traditional "March Past". Normally, it's made up of a Colour Party (military personnel carrying flags), veterans, and military people serving now. This travesty included not only the Air and Sea Cadets (okay, maybe if you stretched it, they're "serving" members), to Girl Guides, Brownies, Sparks (5 yrs old), Cub Scouts, and Boy Scouts. These children "marched past" the Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba, supposedly to pay tribute to his office and the solemnity of the day.

It was an insult to everyone there wearing a proper uniform, and serving in the Canadian Forces. I've never seen anything like it. Perhaps the idea was to teach the kids about what Remembrance Day stands for, but seeing parents take pictures of their kids as they marched by left a bad taste in my mouth.

It was bad enough that no acknowledgement of our current war in Afghanistan was made, nor the names of our dead veterans of this war read out, but the whole thing smacked of everybody fighting to get in their little bit. Contrast this to the ceremony held in Ottawa on Capitol Hill, where the crowd chanted "We support our troops! We support our troops!" at the end.

That is the sentiment of Remembrance Day - remembering what came before and the sacrifices made for all of us, and remembering the current soldiers fighting in the cold of Afghanistan (it's winter over there - people I know are sending mittens for the local kids) and facing IED's every day.

Off my soapbox now.

Re not writing - I have no idea what's wrong with me. I know I'm curdled by my wicked hours at this job that started out part-time and has grown two heads. I know we've had two cross-country moves in two years, and the stress is starting to show. But, I also know of other authors who've been able to write through tragedy, illness, and divorce. So, what's my problem?

I have to refocus. Start remembering when I found joy in writing, and wasn't just churning out yuck. (well, it's yuck to me anyway) With having to work up to and including Christmas Eve I doubt the "Christmas spirit" will inspire me very much. I'm lucky to have good friends around me, who still encourage me, and believe in me. I'm going to focus on that, and write down the many, many stories that could come out of this job experience.

The other day I confronted two identified "cruisers" from a professional theft-ring and made sure they left my store without stealing anything. It gave me great personal satisfaction, and the thrill I used to feel back when I wore a uniform and gun to work. And it felt good indeed. One for the good guys!

1 comment:

Toni Anderson said...

I hate it when politicians hijack important dates. Good luck on getting your writing spirit back and well done on the bad guys, that is very cool!!!