Friday, November 11, 2005

End of an era

I heard this morning that for the first time in our history, no World War One veterans will be in attendence at the Remembrance Day ceremonies at the Cenotaph in Ottawa. I read an estimate a few moments ago — with no idea how old a reference it is — that ten or fewer of them are left alive across the country. When I was a kid, they were not yet entirely rare. Old men in their late 70s, mostly. But now, the youngest of them is in the vicinity of 100. We're at the very cusp of the passing of a war from living memory, the way the US Civil War did in the 1950s. Already none are in sufficient health to attend. In just a few years at most, there will be no one left alive who can remember that time first-hand. It's a sobering thought. But it brings into sharp focus the way that we are all woven into the past, and the future.

No comments: