Yesterday we had our Remembrance Day ceremony at the school since today is (rightfully) a stat holiday. As in years gone by I played Reveille and Last Post. My moment of silence was spent silently acknowledging family, friends and acquaintances who have worn our country's uniform.
My Grandfather, Sgt. Clifford Beamish, who served in the Air Force in World War II loading ordinance onto aircraft and later in the Military Police.
My uncle, Lt-Col. Clark Beamish, who has served in military Intelligence in many countries for a number of years, working with NATO and the UN. He served in Bosnia and spent time not just in Canada but also Germany and Turkey, among a list of other places.
My step father, Scott Beamish, who served as a Captain with the Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment. He served in both the Reserves and Auxiliary Reserves and helped make his community a better place by serving with the local Army Cadet Corps.
My good friend from high school, Major John Haylock. He joined the Reserves at 17, "went Reg force" after graduating high school and has advanced to his current rank all the way from Private, no small feat. He has served a number of tours in Afghanistan and who has traveled to many different places around the world.
Captain John Vandenberg, my training officer from my time in the Windsor Regiment. The man inspired confidence in his troops and was a great leader.
Corporal McCoy, one of my training NCO's, again from when I was a part of the Windsor Regiment. He served on many UN tours one of which involved doing de-mining work in Cambodia. Cpl. McCoy was tough as nails. He definitely rubbed me the wrong way when basic training began but I saw him in a whole different light by the time the summer was through.
Sgt. Russell Storring, with whom I spent a few years together in army cadets. Russ later joined the Regular forces as a Signals Operator and has served at least 3 tours in Afghanistan. He has served as an analyst for CBC and Global television. His writing has appeared in military magazines and at last one book (entitled "Outside the Wire") that I am aware of. Speaking of his writing, you can see his latest contribution to the CBC here.
There are many other guys I grew up with serving today, some of whose names I've forgotten. But I will never forget their sacrifice. Thanks to all these fine soldiers who serve in my place, I have the opportunity to spend time with my kids in the park, where I am about to go right now.