Canada Remembers- A Holy Day

Linda Fode
Nov 11 · 5 min read

Remembering: The Power of Story

Photo courtesy of Mika at Unsplash

Today is Remembrance Day.

In my view it is the one authentic Holy-Day of the calendar year.

No commercialization! No Remembrance Day Sales! No self-focus! No negative editorials! No anti-Remembrance or pickets!

The nation and the generations join in simple Silence and Gratitude.

Veterans from World War II are almost gone. However the tragedy of recent conflicts brings Canadians out on Remembrance Day. Early statistics indicate that 41% of Canadians intend to attend or watch Remembrance Day ceremonies.

Most of the veterans and the fallen were ’ordinary’ people who served their country,

A few years ago, Ray Gilbert wept as he and 15,000 other Calgarians stood silent for two minutes to mark Remembrance Day under a bright, blue sky at the Military Museums’ outdoor service

The Second World War veteran had endured a German prisoner of war camp for two-and-a-half years after the Dieppe raid.

He was emotional as he reflected on the service of fallen soldiers. He said that: “When we came to that part where we have to remember everyone, it was really hard” . Following the ceremony, ninety-one year old, Gilbert said: “Tears were just flowing. I had a terrible time with it.”

Mayor Naheed Nenshi told the audience that one day of remembrance each year was in many ways a cheap act. A simple thank you is never, can never be enough. Let’s commit ourselves, not to just a moment of remembrance at eleven o’clock on the eleventh day of the eleventh month.

Let’s Commit Ourselves to Lives of Constant Remembrance!

Though the Generations

Remembrance Day is intensely personal.

It connects us to our ancestors and to ourselves at levels that no other holiday can do.

Each generation has experienced at least one defining event that changed their world. One event irrevocably changed the culture. and the individual .

To understand ourselves we must understand the generations that went before.

What defined them? What altered the course of their lives collectively and individually?

The image on the Canadian ten dollar bill tells the story of four generations.

Google Images CC

Grandparents, parents, children and grandchildren connected .

My grandparents destiny was sculpted by World War I; my parents by World War II.

My generation was changed by the death of John F Kennedy.

911 shaped my children .

Our grandchildren live in the blessings of what has gone before. Their story is yet to. unfold.

My most potent connections is tied to Remembrance Day. It is the connection to my grandfather, Robert Booth Jeffels.

Let me tell you his story. In telling his story I tell you mine.

Robert Booth Jeffels

The bullet points of his life are unremarkable.

• Born Nov 23, 1889

• Served in British Army during World War I

• Married to Elizabeth Brooks

• Three sons & one daughter; eight grandchildren

• Worked as a green grocer

• Emigrated to Edmonton Alberta in 1926

• Served in the Canadian Army during World War II

• Died- June 10, 1962

Who was this quiet, gentle man? How did he impact his world?

What was the legacy he passed to his children, grandchildren and now his great- grandchildren?

Why are the little girl memories of attending Remembrance Day services with her grandfather still vivid?

She remembers the stories he told and the books he gave.

Walks down 118th Avenue in Edmonton and coffee at Dolly’s Cafe are as real as the memories of yesterday.

She can still smell the Irish Twist tobacco as she holds his old pipes.

She felt so special to be the grandchild who took the train trip through the mountains to visit Great Aunt Rose in Blaine WA.

On the morning of the day Grandpa died, he sat at the piano and played an old hymn, Crossing the Bar. He sang the words and whispered “hmm”.

A few hours later, he left the house to catch his ride but came back to embrace the little girl, now sixteen. “I love you” were his last words to his grandaughter.

Three hours later he passed from earth to heaven.

What was his legacy?

What was the deposit God put in the grandfather so it could be passed to the little girl?

The list could be long including faithfulness, integrity, joy, humor.

His grandchildren all say they have no bad memories of grandpa.

He experienced deep rejection and unwarranted accusation from close relatives.

In the face of deep hurt, he did not retaliate or become bitter.

One of Whom the World was Not Worthy

Robert Booth Jeffels

Personal photo 1950 A.D.

He Was There -He Listened -He Told Stories

Passing It On

Five years ago, our eleven year old grandson came for a sleepover.

We built memories. We watched Remembrance Day services on TV.

I told stories of his great-great grandpa. I listened to his stories.

We played with his Chrome Book and my iPad. He taught me how to get Google Drive. It really helps to be a ‘techy’ Nana.

We talked about school and relationships and faith.

I Am Present –I Am A Listener -I Am A Storyteller

I Inspire Faith In Next generation.

A Psalm of Remembrance

I will speak to you in stories . I will teach you hidden lessons from our past – stories we have heard and known, stories our ancestors handed down to us. We will not hide these truths from our children; we will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord, about his power and his mighty wonders. For he issued his laws to Jacob; he gave his instructions to Israel. He commanded our ancestors to teach them to their children, so the next generation might know them – even the children not yet born – and they in turn will teach their own children. So each generation should set its hope anew on God, not forgetting his glorious miracles and obeying his commands.

(Psalm 78: 1–7, NLT)

Your turn

What is your Story ?

Who were your ancestors ?

Connect their story with yours. Live by design and destiny.

Stories Are Told So That

Each Generation Can

Set It’s Hope On God

Tell Your Story To Someone Today!

Virtually yours


Virtually Yours

Thoughts From A Writer’s Heart

Linda Fode

Written by

Writer,content creator,mentor and motivational speaker. Inspiring others to have a real relationship with God in their everyday lives.

Virtually Yours

Thoughts From A Writer’s Heart

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade