November 11, 2015
armistice day – toronto
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
I was having lunch with friends on Church Street and because I wasn’t familiar with the area, I decided to go early and walked the streets around Church-and-Bloor. The Manufactures Life Insurance Company (Manulife) had two banners – Lest We Forget, N’oublion pas – hanging from its colonnade and the lawn was filled with small Canadian flags. (One of the images in the slide-show is of the flags on the lawn.)
The motif is derived from the display – Blood Swept Lands And Seas Of Red – featuring 888,246 ceramic poppies, one flower for each British or Colonial soldiers killed during World War I. The poppies were planted on the lawns around the Tower of London. Armistice Day is a great celebration in Canada. (Evidence of both its British and European legacies.) Canadians everywhere wears poppy lapel-pins and there is a commemoration that all churches and governments participate in at 11:00. (As Seane and I were walking through the streets of old Kingston, I was looking for a poppy lapel-pin. Well, I found one to wear, but lost it taking my camera case off my shoulders.)
In America, World War I has lost its significance. (For years I tried to find a good, modern book about WWI that teenagers would like to read. No luck.) In Europe the Great War still looms large. In Italy, every village, town or city has a WWI memorial. Aprigliano has a WWI monument in its main piazza. (I shoot every memorial I see, because I want to do both a Photo Essay and a Gallery with the images.)
The above image and the flag image in the slide-show were taken with my iPhone. (It was raining when I got downtown and I wasn’t willing to walk around with my cameras.) I’m surprised by the quality of the images.