” We die twice, first, when we stop breathing, then again, the last time someone speaks our name” Banksy
An apt thought for Remembrance day- a day dedicated to speaking the names of those who have fallen in the service of their country; a day dedicated to keeping their memory alive.
Each year I try to look beyond the pomp and ceremony of the large, organized ceremonies to shine a light on some of the lesser known memorials, such as the homespun site known as Charlie’s tree, or the flying boat model on a pole in the tiny village of Shearwater, or Port Moody’s re-creation of a WW1 trench.
Last week, on a grey and windy day I paid a visit to the Kap’yong memorial, perched atop Radar Hill in Pacific Rim National Park, over the ruins of a cold war era radar installation. It is a simple stone and plaque, set against the backdrop of a Clayoquot Sound panorama..
It is a lonely place, yet someone had preceded us to the memorial, leaving there a single poppy, and a sodden photograph of a sailor of the Second Great War- a sailor who still lives, although he breathes no more, as someone had braved the November gloom to remember, and to speak his name.