|Good Morning, I'm Kevin Pammett –|
|and I’m Kevin’s sister, Nanci Phelan from Canada.|
|[kp] It is our privilege to light the chalice this morning in honor of Veterans’ Day and also to honour our father, Harold “Dutch” Percy Pammett who was a veteran in the Canadian Navy during WWII.|
|[np] For us, Remembrance Day will always have a special meaning because Dad passed away on that day in 1981. He was out golfing on a sunny autumn morning’ having just beaten my mom in a game of gin rummy. I was sitting on the couch with my young children, watching the Remembrance Day service on TV, when I got the phone call. It was a sad shock but over the years we’ve found comfort, healing and a kind of dignity in the coincidence and in the memory.|
[kp] For me, it is now more than half of my life ago that Dad died – imagine – a heart attack while he was doing what he loved !
… Among the major life lessons I learned from my Dad – because he died at the young age of 61 – was this: All we really can count on is living every day to the fullest – because “Tomorrow is promised to no one.”
In addition, I hold my Father honorably as a real life example of the many hundreds of thousands of men and women who have given their lives and who continue to give everything of themselves – in the service of their country.
|[np] Another Remembrance Day memory occurred in 1999 when I was chosen to lay a wreath on the Cenotaph in Ottawa, for the Canadian Federation of University Women. It was a wonderful and exhilarating service on a crisp, sunny morning under a cloudless blue sky. To my right was a sickly old man on an electronic scooter, outfitted with a Canadian Flag. There were throngs of people and vets in a great array of uniforms. We were in front of the Peace Tower and beside the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The Canadian Snowbirds, who are famous worldwide for their aeronautics, did a fly past salute. It was an honour to be part of such a poignant and venerable celebration. I was deeply moved by the immensity of what war had wrought. Remembrance Day took on a meaning beyond the personal and a poem took shape.|
Veterans’ Day, I’m sure, means very different things to each one of us and so Nanci and I light the chalice this morning in honor of Veterans’ Day or Remembrance Day, and in honor of what each person here holds for it in their hearts individually.
How fortunate I am to live in such a community, and to have had this opportunity to do this with my dear sister.