Saturday, July 1, 2017

Somme day

It was raining, so I skipped the 6 am Canada Day ceremony in favor of the 101st memorial of the loss of soldiers at Beaumont Hamel the first day of the battle of the Somme. The hundreds of Newfoundlanders represented an entire generation. 

The service was deeply felt with a military parade, a choir, government officials, a band, and a piper.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: 
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. 
At the going down of the sun and in the morning 
We will remember them. 
Newfoundlanders, who did not join the Canadian confederation until 1949, adopted the blue forget me not to honor World War I dead, as other countries later adopted the red poppy.
Canadians wear red and white on this day. 
This statue honors the UN and NATO peacekeeping missions. 
 Like Australian and New Zealand troops, Newfoundlanders suffered huge losses at Gallipoli and then at Beaumont Hamel, beginning July 1, 1916 and better known in the US as the Battle of the Somme.
After lunch, I walked up to the Rooms, a local museum and cultural center. The exhibits provided background on Newfoundland and Labrador's natural history as well as the history of native people who have lived here nearly 7000 years.
This photo was one of my favorites, a cross-stitch of The Lord's Prayer in Micmac.
It's cloudy so I'm not sure if I'll be able to see fireworks tonight. We loved today's Google doodle, though we weren't completely sure about all the other desserts. (Why are churros and eclairs wishing Canada a happy birthday?)

I'll close with the Ode to Newfoundland, which we sang at the service, right before God Save the Queen: We love this smiling land. 
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Tip: Newfoundland is pronounced New-found-LAND and Labrador is pronounced Lab-ra-DOOR.