Friday Two Cents: I Spoke From My Heart, A Place Of Honour


  This coming Sunday is an extremely important day for me, and many people around Canada. On November 11th we commemorate the sacrifice tens of thousands of men and women did to preserve our way of life. In other words, our freedom to choose how to live our own lives. This day has always been a day to reflect and honour those who paid the ultimate cost for that freedom.

  This past week many schools have been getting ready to also commemorate this day. Many ask the students to create reflections, images and art to this effect. In one class they were tasked to create something similar, yet something happened that made my blood boil and took all my strength to compose myself.
  I was supplying in a junior class with students’ ages 9 – 11, they were asked to create a poster reflecting on their up coming Remembrance Day assembly. I decided to show them a YouTube video I had created for another Remembrance Day assembly. During the video a student was laughing at the images of the soldiers and other students made it a point to tell him to stop and told me after it was over. I had observed this and decided not to react but thought to turn it into a lesson.

Remembrance Day Poppy

  After the video had played I ask them what feelings did they feel after viewing it. Many said sadness, pride and respect. I said their poster also needs to bring out those emotions. The person was still laughing and many told that individual to stop, but I said. “No they can laugh. You see those soldiers died so that people like them can laugh and do what they want. Even if it makes you upset, we in Canada must respect the rights of individuals to express their opinions.” I looking right at them and continued, “Remember though, that in your home country, you are not allowed to express yourself that way. That you would not be allowed to even practice your faith like you are here in Canada. Remember that because of these soldiers, you can come to this country and believe what you want, go to school where you want and even say what you want. Where you come from you would not be.” After that little speech the students went to work on their posters and many were very well done. Even the one individual also worked on it. But it took all my patience and self-control to say those things and compose myself.
  I am not sure if that individual understood what I said or if they care. What I do know is that I spoke from my heart, from a place where honour and loyalty has a strong presence. I believe in the words I spoke and ever day I do try to live a life that honours their sacrifice. That is why I created the video in the first place. I wanted to create a tool to help honour them and hopefully inspire others to take up the torch and hold it high. For I will not break faith with those who die, though poppies grow in Flanders Fields.


Friday Two Cents: Remembrance


Today is Remembrance Day in Canada. A day when we remember the sacrifice that many men and women have paid for the rest of us to live free. This day, above all other days holds great significance to me that words cannot express my true feelings. The only words that come to mind are the ones written by a Canadian poet and physician who served in World War I. I know how weak and fruitless any words I can express for my eternal gratitude to these people except to quote the poem In Flanders Fields by Major John McCrea.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.


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.


Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.

In Flanders Fields by Major John McCrea

(A Canadian poet and physician who served in World War I)

I remember when I when to Ottawa those so many times and prayed at the War Memorial to say thank you. The torch is ours to bear, and I bear it with a sense of pride and humility. So much so that I have drawn many images using charcoal on paper to relive those moments in history. I then created a video collection to honour those brave individuals using the drawings I drew and the images that inspired them. This short video is meant as a tribute to them and to all Canadians who stand up for the cause of freedom.

For Lest We Forget. 

Art Inspiration: Remembrance 2015


This year I had the good fortune to travel to Ottawa where I received many moments of inspiration. The most profound flashes of inspiration came when I visited the Canadian War Museum and the National War Memorial. There I was inspired to draw and create what I saw.

I did a lot of drawing and I did not stop there. I found other images from the Great War, World War Two and modern images of Canadian soldiers. I drew each one in turn until I had over a dozen on my drawing table.   I then got an idea to place these drawings and images in a short video clip as a tribute to all Canadians who fought for our freedom.

When creating these drawings, I did not use my typical mediums. I drew them on acid free paper as I always have but instead of pencils, pens or paints I used charcoal. I wanted to create something using similar mediums that Michelangelo, Da Vinci, or many other artists used over a hundred years ago. I found the experience refreshing and developed a new appreciation for those masters of old.

I scanned all the images into the computer and set off on creating a video tribute. The music I used was, Honor (Honor (2010), (Main Title Theme from “The Pacific”) by Geoff Zanelli, Hans Zimmer & Blake Neely.) It is a hauntingly beauty piece of music that I never get tired of hearing.

The end result is a video I hope reflects my passion and respect for all those whom I owe so much.


I have imbedded the YouTube video for you to watch. It was created because I was inspired.  My hope is that it inspires others. Please enjoy Remembrance 2015.


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