Remembrance Day 2013

No Mans Land, Flanders Field, France, 1919 (LOC)

No Mans Land, Flanders Field, France, 1919 (LOC)

Photo by W. L. King, Millersberg, Ohio; by courtesy of Military Intelligence Div., General Staff, U.S. Army.

Photo provided by: The Library of Congress Source: Flicker

Today marks the 95th anniversary of the end of the war to end all wars. Sadly, the signing of the “armistice between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front of World War I”1, did not prevent further wars.

Is there any accurate record of how many millions of people have died in wars in the last 95 years? I don’t think so. The needless killing of men, women, and children goes on around the globe unabated—often with impunity.

Today, November 11, is the day Commonwealth countries pause to remember the members of their armed forces who have lost their lives in the line of duty. This day is known by a few names. In Canada it is known as Remembrance Day, while in other countries the day is referred to as Poppy or Armistice Day. Our closest neighbour, the United States, celebrates Veterans Day on November 11 as well.

Remembrance Day has become synonymous with two things: poppies, and the poem In Flanders Fields, by Canadian medic John McCrae. McCrae was a doctor with the Canadian Army Medical Corps. The poem was inspired by the red poppies he saw growing in the worst battlefields of Flanders during WWI.



Photography by: Maureen Barlin  Source: Flickr

In Flanders Fields

John McCrae

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.


1 Source: Wikipedia article on Armistice Day

…this is just my blog. My “real” website is If you’re looking for sax info, you should check it out too.There’s lots there!

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving 2013

Thanksgiving, horn-o-plenty, pumkins, gourds, corn on the cob, apples, fields, sun rise, sunset, orange, green, Canadian Thanksgiving

The Canadian Thanksgiving Day long weekend of 2013  is upon us. So I thought since most of the people who read my weblog articles are not from Canada, it might be interesting to provide a few details about this Canadian holiday.

Our close American friends also have a Thanksgiving, but they celebrate theirs on the 4th Thursday of November. The dissimilarities don’t end there however. Here are just some of the differences between how Canada and the US celebrate this annual fall holiday. (And a bit of Canadian Thanksgiving history as well.)

  • Although celebrated prior to this, our current Canadian Thanksgiving was proclaimed by Parliament on Thursday, January 31, 1957.
  • Before 1957, the dates for Thanksgiving Day varied from year to year, and from one part of Canada to another.
  • Canadian Thanksgiving corresponds with European harvest festivals, and the US’s Columbus Day.
  • We air way less football. We have only one CFL doubleheader. That’s right, only 1. :hair:
  • Because our Thanksgiving is not close to Christmas, our holiday isn’t associated with holiday shopping. No Black Tuesday for us. ;)
  • Since our holiday is associated with harvest festivals, it makes sense that historically our Thanksgiving has been about giving thanks for specific things. The Government of Canada actually has a list dating back all the way to 1799, of the reasons why Thanksgiving Day was proclaimed. Really it does. The reasons ranged from: “blessings of an abundant harvest”, to “cessation of cholera”, to “King Edward VII’s Coronation”, and everything in between.
  • Turkey, while a choice of many Canadian families, is not the traditional holiday meal here in Canada. Lots in Canadians eat other foods as well. Ham, dim sum, chicken, roast beef, etc. etc., all might be on holiday table this weekend.

That said, our family is celebrating Thanksgiving with two turkey dinners—neither of which we have to cook. We’ve been invited out to dinner both on Sunday and on Monday. What could be better?

My partner’s mother is currently here from Ottawa for a 3 week visit, so this holiday is especially nice, since she gets a break from having to cook a holiday meal, and being stuck with the clean up afterwards. I’m sure she has her own reasons for being thankful this Thanksgiving. :mrgreen:

No matter where you are, I wish all my fellow Canadians a safe and happy Thanksgiving 2013.

PS: Back to regularly-scheduled programming next week. I’m currently working on an article that I’m sure you will like. It’s about some very rare saxophone-relatives of days gone by.

…this is just my blog. My “real” website is If you’re looking for sax info, you should check it out too.There’s lots there!

Labour Day 2013 And New Saxophone Signage

poof bubble, blac, orange, blueI’m trying to figure out where the last 3+ months of our summer have gone. It seems that they’ve already gone **poof**, into our personal histories. Labour Day 2013 is upon us, and the unofficial end of summer is here: Campsites that were filled with holidayers are emptying out; the highways are a grid-lock of cars, trucks, trailers, and RVs; university dorms are teaming with activity again; and stores like Staples and Walmart are insane as parents line up to buy back to school items. Ah yes, there’s nothing quite as relaxing as a holiday long weekend. ;)

Tomorrow is of course the first day back at school for most school children here in Canada and the US. It’s a day when traffic jams around schools will start-up again; kids will start walking to and from school again (at least a few of them will), and most assuredly, it’s the day that speed limits around school limits will once again be reduced.

The school zone signs we see everywhere inspired me to make up my own saxy type of caution sign. This is one that vintage bass saxophone players can relate to, much like they could relate to the one I did up in July 2011.

caution sign, bass saxophone, school sign, humorous sign, saxophone zone sign, black, yellow

Like the real signs it imitates, my sign—a combination of a bunch of different signs from a number of different jurisdictions here in North America—suffers from a potential double meaning. :twisted:

I hope you enjoy the last unofficial day of summer 2013. Wherever you are, and whatever you’re doing, have a safe one. Happy Labour Day 2013.

…this is just my blog. My “real” website is If you’re looking for sax info, you should check it out too.There’s lots there!