Remembering the red paper poppies that blossomed on lapels the autumn I lived in London.
Remembering bells tolling each day at parish churches during November as the the names of parishioners who had died were read aloud. This was not an abstract remembrance. It was rooted in place and time.
Remember the absolute hush that washed over the busy city at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. Everything stopped.
Remembering my Shakespeare professor in London taking us out for dinner at a Korean restaurant. When the woman came with our menus, he waved her off and began speaking to her in Korean. He had served in the Korean War…as a code breaker. We were totally shocked! The woman went back to the kitchen and brought out everyone who worked there. We smiled and looked on amazed as they talked on. Can you imagine the meal they served us?
Remembering my 7th grade English teacher, Mrs. McGrath, teaching us “In Flanders Fields” by John McCrae.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Remembering the nubby feeling of the blanket that always covered the crippled legs of my great grandfather, Christopher Columbus West. He got frostbite on his legs in the trenches in France during the first World War. He always welcomed me on his lap when I got scared as the freight trains rattled past.