• I will Remember

    As a boy, I used to sell poppies door to door for Uncle Eph (Eaphraim) Cooper.  Well I guess it was for the Legion, of which he was a member, but I always called it for him.

    As such I learned what they were all about, and gained a great deal of pride in my Newfoundland and family heritage, learning about such things as the Battle of Beaumont Hamel, Vimy Ridge etc.

    Uncle Eph was a veteran of WWI, and I will always remember what he and his companions did and scarified for us, and I will always wear the poppy.

    I have no objection to those who want to protest war, my wearing of the poppy doesn’t signify a glorification of war.  I do believe sometimes wars are necessary, or have been. Sometimes freedom IS at stake.  And for those who are free to protest war, think about what your freedom cost.

    Do I believe some of the actions or government takes now are for freedom? No, I do believe many are for profit.  And to me that’s just another sign of the deterioration of our so called democracy, not a reflection on our soldiers.

    Remember those who are lost, those who didn’t come home, those who sacrificed all.  Remember that we are free, free to argue, free to not wear a badge, a number, free from incarceration without cause.

    Two things to say that others have said better than me.

    “Blind faith in your leaders, or in anything,
    will get you killed.”

    Bruce Springsteen.

    Don’t take our freedom for granted.  Honor those who have fallen, but remember what they fought for, and lets make sure we don’t lose it from the inside.

    They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
    Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.
    They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
    They fell with their faces to the foe.
    They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
    Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
    At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
    We will remember them.
    They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
    They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
    They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
    They sleep beyond England’s foam

    One of the most poignant remembrance day images comes from the comedy show Black Adder.  Have a watch.  Probably the toughest TV scene I’ve ever watched, if you can make it through without tears, well you’re doing better than me.

    Raised in outport Newfoundland in a town of 65 people, I pursued a post secondary diploma in Information Technology right out of High School. I’ve always been a geek at heart, but yet I love the rural life I grew up with. Fishing, hunting, camping and the great outdoors are still loves of mine, even if I don’t pursue them as often as I once did. Sports were always a big part of our lives, and I played many (badly) and loved them all.

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    4 thoughts on “I will Remember

    • June Janes Hearn says:

      At the end of the video, when the screen went silent, I stopped for about 5 minutes. I thought of nothing – just a peace came over me. I think it was the first time the “moment of silence” rang true and I really “got it”. You’ve said it all! Thank you for posting this and thank you to all who sacrificed so much for us.

    • Marie cooper says:

      Thanks Peter, there are no word to describe how great uncle Eph (Gramp) was. We miss him so much.

    • dave pitcher says:

      Thankyou as well Peter. Do you recall great uncle Hay Cooper, Eph”s Brother who also fought in the WW1. I was five or six when he passed on, early sixtys. Do you know if there is a monument standing in Elliott’s Cove of him? His home was near my grandparents William & Ethel Cooper. My sister Darlene and I have such fond memories of him.

    • Peter Smith says:

      Hi David. Sorry Uncle Hay was before my time or very close. I was born in 65. I am not sure where his marker is, I only asked Eric to take those of the Smith’s, so it could very well be in Elliott’s Cove, though its not listed on http://ngb.chebucto.org/Cemetery/cem-eliots-cv-unk-tb.shtml either. He could also be buried in Snook’s Harbour as I think that’s where they all came from originally.

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