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Remembrance Day
Josh, Age 15, Stirling, AB

We were short of time so we had to hurry up the hill. We cut our way through clear cut paths, and not so clear cut paths, as we worked our way up and up. We also passed over the stream that I had slipped into earlier that day. I hardly had time to scowl at it though; we didn't have a moment to waste.

It was Remembrance Day. My brother Rob, patriotic since he had first done the Wolf Cub Scout sign while singing the national anthem, had suggested that we all climb the nearby wooded hill and observe together, in nature, the customary two minutes of silence. 'We' consisted of my brother, two of his college roommates, and I. We decided to do as he suggested. And so we found ourselves scaling the hill, the approaching two minutes of silence occurring very soon.

When we came to the top it became apparent that winter was putting me out of shape. I sat down on a relatively comfortable rock to catch my breath, staring at the ground between my knees. After a while I found myself looking up. What I beheld was wondrous. The beautiful snow-filled Canadian landscape was breathtaking (though I had little breath left for it to take away). The customary two minutes of silence having begun, I set my thoughts to pondering. I thought about war. I thought about what had been done for me by those I did not know which also did not know me. I wondered to myself; could I have done what they did? Could I give up what they gave up? The amazing, serene landscape added so much to my thoughts. What was this land? Was it worth protecting; worth dying for and living for?

Even the birds seemed to observe the silence. These thoughts ran through my head for the duration of the two minutes. Then Rob began to sing. I believe it was our national anthem he sang. One of our other compatriots joined in. I still thought to myself for a moment, and then added my voice to the chorus. We were one, up on that hill. I truly felt that we understood each other, and understood that we would sacrifice, if necessary, for our homeland. I think we also understood that each of the other persons present would do the same. It was a worthwhile experience, one that I will remember each time I observe that same two minutes of silence every year to come. It made me more aware, and helped me acknowledge my role in the world better. It was a wondrous two minutes in the middle of nowhere.

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