Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Since I will be repeating my expedition to the memorial services at the Legislature I thought that I might as well re-post;

I have three World War One connections.

First and foremost is my Paternal Grandfather, Joseph Coppens, who left Nederbraakel, Belgium, in 1929.
He told me that a big part of the reason was because of the occupation of his village by the Germans during WW1 and he never wanted to live through that again.
He was only 23 years old and the only member of his family to emigrate to Canada.

The second connection is that I had the medals of Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae who wrote In_Flanders_Fields .

I sold them in 1997 thinking that they would be better off in the care of a Collector.
The medals soon went to auction and sold for nearly $500,000. The new owner donated them to a Museum, McCrae_House , where they belong.

The incident became a national story and you can read about my ordeal in my archive June 8, 2006.

Willy Coppens, who was the Flying Ace of Belgium.
My third connection to WW1, is my Grandfather's distant cousin, or so he told me when I was a lad,
Archive Aug 19, 2006.

So this Rememberance Day my good-lady-wife, youngest son and I went to the Legislative Grounds to pay our respects.

The canon fire was so terrifyingly LOUD
that I thought that all of the windows in the surrounding office buildings were going to shatter.

We decided to tour inside the Legislative Building after the ceremony.
Afterall it is a magnificent edifice.

Our Provincial mascot is the Bison which were "once the most numerous single species of large wild mammal on Earth" which were so mercilessly slaughtered in North America from 1820 to 1880 that their numbers were reduced from an estimated 30 million to 1,000...a fitting metaphor for the plunder of the New World eh?

We took a photo of this incredible "mural depicting Canadian army life in France during the First World War painted by Frank Brangwyn of London, England, one of Europe's finest muralists. The mural portrays the carnage and tragic sacrifice of war but bright flowers in the foreground herald the coming of peace."

I started to imagine what it would be like to work there...


I could be a model of society..
no really..literally..
like a wax figure of the average citizen?

No. I must aim higher!

I couldn't be Minister of Healthy Living..
as a germaphobe I nearly barfed just thinking about all of the germs on that doorknob.

Water Conservation only reminded me about how badly I needed to find the biffy.

We passed by Family Services so I teased my son about trading him in if he didn't behave!

No  answer.

I pretended to be the Minister of Science & Technology as the other Tourists wandered by..


Working on a Civic Holiday, what dedication.

I told a young couple passing by that I was working on providing free internet
heh heh heh.
I'm afraid that I prolly wouldn't do well in Government because of all the bloody rules that the guy in this office tries to enforce..

hey protocol this!

So as you can see, I enjoyed many of my freedoms today,

but I did not forget the terrible price that it cost others.

"If you don't know your past,
you don't know your future.

Tomorrow People,
today is here."
Ziggy Marley.


  1. Those are some awesome pics and great connections.

    It is nice to take time to remember those who came before us, and what we can do for those who'll take our place.

    And here I thought the Beaver was the mascot in Canada.

    No Ministry of Bacon, Maple Syrup, and Hockey?

    I'm surprised the Mounties weren't around to secure the building. And you'll have no trouble getting re elected on your platform of free internet!

  2. Yeah, you can have my vote if you ever decide to be the presidential candidate to the elections in the Free Internet Republic, hahaha!

  3. Ooh ooh! I want to work at the Ministry of Bacon. Pick me! Pick me!
    I was nicknamed the Bacon Queen a few years ago...taht has to count for something right? :)

    i haven't been to the Manitoba Ledge in years...I remember being hjealous that you gusy have a bunch of stuff underground. Here in Sask we have one that is *sinking* into the ground...not quite as cool...

  4. Sorry...can't type today...

  5. Are you barfing or licking the doorknob?

  6. If he licked that doorknob, MJ, he's dead on the floor today....

    I once attended a Rememberance Day ceremony in Lethbridge, AB and when they fired off the Howitzer, a bunch of windows in the old arena (where we were) shattered. You could hear the tinkling of glass hitting the floor.... and then a bunch of the old soldiers quietly went "hooRAH!"... it was really hard to not burst out laughing! But everyone smiled broadly... it was great!

    Looks like you and the little guy had a blast... I can only assume your lovely lady enjoyed your antics as well, since she's behind the camera in all but one shot.

    Awesome post, and very cool history in your family. Good that you keep all this going - I am sure your kids will one day tell their kids too.

  7. Thanks for the HTML hints. Shall I try one? < i >How about this?< / i > < b >And this?< / b > Sorry, no appropriate links.

    I was really impressed with how many people showed up at our local RD thing in typical November weather in Vancouver: pouring.

    Now I'm off to check out your link and see why you're so rich but haven't shared it with me...

  8. Once, at a Remembrance Day ceremony at my last school the CCF (Combined Cadet Force - boy soldiers) DID blow out all the windows in the school library with their 21 gun salute! It (the CCF) was disbanded a few years later!

  9. I have always been fond of the motto for ANZAC day, and I think it applies equally here. "Lest we forget."

    I too have some whimsical connections to WWI, nothing as remarkable as yours though.

    If you want a really good, unvarnished, first-hand narrative that I think paints a great picture of the war and the people who fought it, I recommend Toward the Flame by Hervey Allen.

  10. Biffy?

    I have connections to wars giong way back, coming from a long line of military people. Ironic, given my Quakerliness.

  11. Posts like this one just confirm how cool you are.

    McCrae's medals... wow.

  12. Bet that spiced up ya life!

  13. You waffle eater, McCrae was a doctor right? WWI was cold and muddy with idiots in charge, unlike Iraq which is hot and sandy with idiots in charge, see how we have evolved?

  14. I always forget Remembrance Day. I guess it's never had too much significance to me - probably granddad was there, but since his idea of great conversation is all about cricket, or the vicar at his church in 1953, I never heard anything about the war...

  15. i'm not in today, nor yesterday.
    tomorrow we shall see. *squawk*

  16. Serves you right for selling those medals.

    Is that a right response?!

  17. Interesting history of our greatest Donn here :) Yes its imp to know WHERE ur origins r, WHERE ur today and WHERE u'll go tmrw.

    *HUGZ* I'll be away for a lil while Donn. Came to tell ya bye byez.. :) TC, keep writing and dun ever stop dancing! And...know that u r loved.

    Au Revoir!

  18. don~~just wanted to leave you a quick comment to let you know my kidneys are starting to work again~~~i have already lost 5 pounds of fluid today~~and it's not quite 7pm

    i loved the pictures and the story~~and did i ever need a good laugh

    your care and concern for my well being just amazes me~~~i tried to send you an email, but i've locked myself out of my laptop, had to change email addresses to hopefully loose my stalkers
    LOL and i can't get my passwords to work for my main email
    i just don't feel up to the phone wait to call my internet provider to get them to change my passwords
    or figure out what the hell i am doing wrong
    i'm hoping as i loose more of the excess fluid maybe my brain will be all "cleaned out"

    thanks for being such a wonderful friend~~
    my brother from another mother asked me today if i had thought of taking a very long vacation
    i told him i was thinking about maybe taking a driving tour to have a cup of coffee or lunch with some of my blogger friends
    naturally he wanted to know what i had planned, i told him from canada to washington state to new york, he just laughed
    but if i start planning now, i can see me taking a couple of months after the first of the year
    just for me time
    aren't i a selfish bitch?

  19. Great shots my friend. I have missed reading you. Nice to see you were out and about and I would love to hear more about your connections. I am one of those people that love to hear stories. I probably could talk to older people all day and never get bored.

    It is also a great plus that you always make me smile. I have forgotten how to do that lately. Thank you!

    soft love,

  20. I suppose my biggest link to Remembrance Day (apart from family who lived through the wars in England) is my line of work. I make sure the phone is off the hook and PC screen is off during the 2 mins observation at work - not just to remember the past wars, but to contemplate the fact that somewhere out in an area of unrest, kit that I am partly responsible for is reducing human casualties.

  21. hey don-don, I see youère still attracting pretty, naked people. you have not lost your touch. You celebrated my birthday well, I always have been grateful for the day off of stupid work on the day of my birth. Sorry about the soldiers..... well I only learned wha "remembrance day" was actually about when I was about 23. Up til then I pretty much figured that people were remembering my birthday, even before I was born... Yeah, I'm a narcisist. What can I say (about myself)?

  22. Methinks an Atticus Finch suit might get you an office in that splendid bastion of democracy.

  23. Love the pictures! I have many connections to all wars but that one. No one in my family was involved in that war, now the civil war, the spanish american war, WWII, korea, vietnam and Iraq I have many....and yes I know some where not really 'wars' but anything that envolves lots of guns and fighting is a war in my book

  24. nice. very nice.

    i have never, ever heard of a "biffy"!!!!

  25. I don't remember writing that . . .

  26. At first I was WOW after I went LOL and more LOL and finish with WOW a great quote!;)Great post!

  27. It's déjà vu all over again!

  28. lol
    I have to come here more often. So happy i found ur page. Thanks for sharing...loved the pic especially with u trading in your son lol

  29. You actually got to tour the building? Cool...

  30. now, i am getting a little bit spooked. how did my avatar landed up there when i didn't comment, since that blog has been closed. eek.
    or probably this is part of an older comment box. never mind.. *twilight zone muzak*

    so you've got connections eh?
    the medals. ouch. but ya, to a better cause.

  31. (earlier avatar = mistipurple)

  32. A good celebration of your Remembrance Day. Thank you.


Danke für das Kommentieren/Gracias por comentar/Merci du commentaire/Вы для комментария/Thank You for commenting/Σας ευχαριστώ για το σχολιασμό/Grazie per commentare/Tak for kommentaren...

click yer cursor matey...


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...