My niece (his granddaughter) invited my dad, along with my mom Audrey, to be the special guests at Burlington's Maplehurst Public School's Remembrance Day Ceremony. The well-prepared M.C.'s introduced the most poignant Remembrance day video, "A Pittance of Time" by Nova Scotia's Terry Kelly, a wonderful singer-songwriter I had interviewed in the past. The school choir, immaculately dressed for the occasion, including our nine-year-old Sierra, sang the chorus. Sierra never took her eyes off the choir leader, concentrating on every word, every note. She knew this was an important day. She had just had her ears pierced and wore her "high heels". When the song ended, with my sister Barbi, her mom, willing back tears, she ran over to my parents and thanked them for coming.
For these children, who knew no more about war than a chapter in their history books or one of those video games, they saw before their very eyes, a real life superhero, a little different from the Hollywood variety. They thanked my dad, and walked by in awe, mesmerized by his medals, his actual presence.
It was what happened next that broadened his smile even more. They went for a coffee and something to eat. It was lunchtime and students from nearby Nelson High School were flooding the coffee shop. My sister turned toward the door in search of a less crowded venue when someone behind the counter said, "Wait, don't go. We'll clear you a table." Then two young girls at the front of the line said, "Please take our place." So with cane in hand, medals shining and legion cap perched atop his head, my dad led my mom and my sister to a table of honour at their neighbourhood Tim Horton's. By the way his coffee and apple fritter were on the house.
Please take a moment to watch this video and think of my dad and all the super heros who have laid their lives on the line for our freedom...for our country.