I walked over a sleepy river along a leafy bridge and arrived at the resting place of two vintage Howitzer canons that mark the entry into the veterans section of Pine Hills Cemetery. Buried there are hundreds of Canadians who wore the cloth of this great nation and in one way or another sacrificed themselves, for us, on the altar of freedom.
High above the road is an entrenched event staging area appointed with a towering War Memorial and sky scraping flag pole. If you stand below and look up at its expansive parapet, you can see the large marquee words “Lest We Forget” painted on the surface of the stone. This hilltop location seems strategically situated to offer a compelling vista of the rows upon rows of veterans graves.
It’s November 11, 2016 near 11 a.m. The solemn moment of Remembrance is imminent. There are very few people here. The emptiness is profound and compounded given the number of veterans resting here. There is a smattering of poppy-wearing family and friends, scattered over an area of graves so vast it would seem there are very few attendees. An impromptu bugler plays at the far end of the field and I have to strain to hear him. Surprised and grateful, people serendipitously turn toward the drifting notes and instinctively know the appropriate moment to hold for two minutes of reflection.
It seems so absurd and rather sad that there is no occupation of this area at this time of year. There are no phalanxes of military, no politicians, no clergy, no members of the Royal Canadian Legion, no colour guard, no marching band, no last post, no mustering of the notes of Reveille, no speeches, no one to recite McCrae’s “In Flanders Fields” and no piper to deliver the eulogy of Amazing Grace. Very few are here to honour the memory of these veterans. It feels like the graves of the forgotten, rather than the remembered.
What ‘food desert’?
Coxwell and Gerrard is not a “food desert”, as stated in the November 15 paper (Six months later, No Frills still closed). We have a number of wonderful choices for good shopping at our fingertips.
BJ Supermarket (with the best samosas) is a store which I prefer to Rocco’s. Victoria’s Wholefoods whose warm welcome is augmented by their great cold meats, fresh eggs, homestyle perogies and much more. The Pantry, just down the block, offers wonderful cheeses and helpful ideas for pairing and serving up your choices.
A couple of great halal meat markets – I would mention Lahore Meat Market – with fresh chickens and other choice cuts of meat.
And for shopping at your fingertips there is always Grocery Gateway where your online order is delivered to your kitchen, and Mama Earth for fresh veggies.
This is the time for our community to support our local small businesses they are great and worthy. We are a very fortunate neighborhood.
Re: Lions’ Christmas tree lot moving to Woodbine Beach (November 15, 2016). “The city does not want any extra-ordinary wear and tear on the new landscaping”. Does that mean they expect people and pets to stay away from that area as well?
We owe Steve and Pete a debt of gratitude for their 25 years of faithfully serving this community with the utmost respect and cooperation, as well as their extra-ordinary care of the park.
And lest we forget, the tremendous contribution to the coffers of the Lions’ Club. The tree lot attracted many individuals from outside our community as well. People who spent the day shopping and dining at our local merchants, all part and parcel of a trip to get a tree.
I have so many wonderful memories and always looked forward to having my senses and holiday spirit boosted by the sight of the festive lights, the joyful music softly playing in the background and the heavenly bouquet of evergreen fragrance. The patient and friendly staff were always such a delight. They didn’t even mind my singing along with the music.
I am deeply saddened by the move. You see, I have a mature female residing in my body now. The birthday suit is wrinkled; a back that decides how far it wants to carry me before resting on a bench or getting on the streetcar to finish my journey, and like most seniors, a bladder that decides how many frequent stops one makes along the way, especially in the cold weather.
No, I do not drive. Having so many choices within walking distance and/or accessible by the Queen car is what keeps so many of us living in the Beach.
Having said all that, a trip to Woodbine Beach may not be possible given that it is a bit of hike from Queen Street to Woodbine Beach and back again.
The changes to Kew Gardens were touted as a way to attract more people and encourage shopping. Moving the Christmas tree lot accomplishes exactly the opposite for the local merchants.
Shame on you decision makers for making one our Christmas pleasures inaccessible for many.
My wish is that Steve and Pete do extremely well and we do our best to support them.