We found this piece after my father died three years ago. He was a veteran from WWII
by the late Eugene Berton, WWII Veteran
When you stand in front of your flag and listen to your anthem, what goes on before your mind's eye?
Possibly not much, because there is no immediate attachment.
You do not sense any pride, or should I say deep pride. Would you stand there with a tear in your eye and a swelling of your chest? Not likely.
There have been no events to make it so. On Remembrance Day as you stand in front of a cenotaph, what is seen in those memorials that should make you hold your breath? Not much.
Let's say, though that if you had been in another country, far away from home, and again if your life was in danger at the time and you heard your anthem, would it be different in your thoughts? I believe lots.
You would see in your mind's eye the ocean you crossed by ship or by air. You would see Canada as you remember from the maps. You would see your province, you would see your city or town or village. You would see your schools, the corner store, the old man or woman on their porch giving a little wave. You would see your parents, brothers and sisters or the entire family, and maybe a girl or boy which you really liked. You would go back to the earliest age that you could remember.
All this would flash in your mind's eye in a matter of seconds. This is what one misses and thinks about at such times when danger is prevalent, such as soldiers at war, people in danger of losing their lives or possibly close to dying.
To this day, as I stand in front of my flag and hear my anthem, I get a tear in my eye.
Also on Remembrance Day, I see all those young people who stood like me, and even the real tough ones, with that little glitter, a little sniffle.
That is why there was a certain bonding between these people even though you hardly knew them, and even though they came from different parts of the country. You stood together.
After you came back to all the things I mentioned, some of the ones we were standing with did not come back. There lies the sadness. There lies the reason for being here today. There lies my reason for talking with you. Cherish this moment in your thought the next time you hear your national anthem.
Written by the late Eugene Berton, WWII Veteran