Dear Grammy and Grampy,
November 9, 2021
Tonight I felt I should write you a letter because it’s almost November 11th. Even though you are no longer here, I feel your presence and I know you would be happy to hear Remembrance Day is still firmly planted in my heart. It was always a hallowed event in the Knight family each year and we were up with the birds that day as Grammy used to say. Mocha cakes had to be finished for the Branch #99 Legion refreshments. Shoes and medals were polished, and bodies were trying to warm up in advance for the parade.
I remember that Grampy said I should always keep a stiff upper lip and a Knight family member respects and honours our Legions and veterans. His stories of how hard life was in the cold and the muddy trenches in France during World War 1 have not been forgotten. Not one word of what he and others went through during the first World War will ever leave my mind.
Each Remembrance Day I can still hear Grampy yelling out orders during the parade: ‘left right, left right’. I was always the last one in the parade every year. I never understood why the Brownies were placed at the end and I was always pulling up the rear in my too short Brownie outfit, bare legs with knee socks, and no boots.
Standing at the Cowansville High School cenotaph freezing to death and chattering with friends each year I always got the stink eye from Grampy who was always watching me. I could never avoid his stern gaze and I knew he was telling me silently,
‘Respect, Linda, respect, remember what these men did for you’.
The solo bugle playing The Last Post would always make the odd strange noise from the cold outside on the first few notes and the freezing November breeze would circle around my legs turning them bright red. I could see tears in my Grandfather’s eyes, remembering his friends that never made it home.
Each Remembrance Day I still remember the past November 11th services. I wish for a lot of things, but now besides remembering all the veterans I pray and hope for the continuation of our local Legions. As you said Grampy:
‘I have seen war. I hate war!’
For years Grampy lived in pain from being one of the first gassed in the trenches. As he said each time he had a migraine:
‘I’ll be okay, but in the meantime I just have to hold strong’.
We are trying Grampy to hold strong, we are trying to keep these Legions solvent and the memories continious, but in the meantime we try to inherit your great examples. We remember each and every soldier who gave up so much for our freedom and ensure they are never forgotten. As you always told me, it’s not just November 11th we should remember them, but every single day, and we should honour the dead best by treating the living well.
I miss you so much..