|Moony's Bay Park, Ottawa Ontario. I took this photo after visiting downtown Ottawa on a beautiful day in May.|
In Ottawa, we got a fantastic day of sunshine, so we took the opportunity to explore the downtown monuments and government buildings. I hadn't taken into consideration that the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was in our nation's capital.
First, we saw the majestic and wondrous war memorial, the incredible sculpture depicting the brave soldiers who went overseas in the first world war to fight for their country. We approached it from the North side, having just visited the Parliament building, so I didn't see the Tomb initially, just the monument.
We were in exploration mode, so we wandered around the War Memorial monument and found the Tomb. What I didn't expect was the single poppy laid on the top. It's the small details that matter. The awe and inspiration of the War Memorial paled in comparison to this simple, deliberate gesture. It hit me all in a rush: the bones of a soldier who died for Canada lay here. It's May, yet someone made sure there was a poppy on that soldier's tomb. I broke down.
I snapped a few photos after I sat down and composed myself, but the impact still resonates with me today. Everything I have, all of the freedoms that I take for granted was defended by this man I didn't know nor ever will. I like to think that the sacrifices of the men and women of Canada during periods of war have helped shape this country into a better place.
That's why I'll be sure to take a moment of silence this Sunday, to honor and pay respect to those I didn't know; it's the least I can do.
Lest we Forget.
Details on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier can be found here.