Friday, November 11, 2011

I Didn't Forget

But sometimes, it takes a few poppies to bring it back to mind.

Wendy and I had the privilege of seeing one of our life-long dreams come true last year: we spent nine incredible days touring around Scotland. It was a 25th wedding anniversary gift from my parents, and it was all the more memorable because they came with us, celebrating their 50th anniversary.

I've known, as far back as I can remember, that my great-grandfather died in combat during the first World War. I've seen pictures of him in his uniform, with his regiment before they were deployed, and also of his grave-site.

But somehow, visiting the Scottish War Memorial in Edinburgh Castle, and being able to look in the very large books commemorating those who were killed while fighting for freedoms that I all-too-often take for granted, and seeing his name -- David Lennox McAlpine -- made it somehow more real for me.

And the usual noise of tourist chatter that you could hear all around Edinburgh Castle was hushed to almost complete silence inside the Memorial building. The gravity of the size of the monument, and the sheer number of names -- even though only one had any personal significance to me -- was powerful.

Lest we forget.

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