Remembrance Day: Lest We Forget

Remembrance Day (this holiday is called Veterans Day in the United States and Remembrance Sunday in the U.K.) is held every November 11th in Canada. It is a day for all Canadians to observe a moment of silence and remember our military veterans—those men and women who served, sacrificed, and died for our country.

Remembrance Day ceremonies around the world have been downscaled or even cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, so today I decided to load up an alt and pay a visit to the 14th SL Veterans’ Tribute sim (SLURL, Flickr photo pool). The notecard I received upon arrival reads as follows:

Welcome to the 14th Annual SL Veteran’s Tribute for 2020. This is the 14th annual Veteran’s Tribute that we have put together.
The tribute will be open until November 17th!

The Tribute itself is non-political and serves one purpose and one purpose only and that is to honor all the men and women that have given willing of their time to protect the lives we enjoy today.

The goal of the Tribute is to provide a non-political, content filled, educational, interactive SIM inside Second Life where men and women of all walks of life can visit and provide remembrance and honor to those who have served in the Armed Services.

The tribute operates on a zero dollar budget and are non-profit; the entire tribute is built, funded, organized and executed on a purely volunteer basis. We have an organized group on SL called the “SL Veteran’s Tribute” if you would like to look it up. This group will be used as the basis of our planning and scheduling for the Tribute.

With Kindest and Best Regards,
The SL Veteran’s Tribute Group

There is a teleporter at the spawn point to take you to various locations, one of which is the Memorial Wall, where the flags of many nations hang over grey stone walls. On each stone is the name of a military veteran, whom someone wished to remember.

While most of the sim represents the American veteran’s experience (hardly a surprise, since Second Life is an American product), there is a small area set aside for Canadian veterans, including a stone plaque commemorating those who served and died in Afghanistan:

The Canadian Memorial

In Flanders Fields is a poem which most Canadians are familiar with, as it is read every year at Remembrance Day services held across the country; it was written during the First World War by Canadian physician Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae. He was inspired to write it on May 3, 1915, after presiding over the funeral of friend and fellow soldier Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, who died in the Second Battle of Ypres (source: Wikipedia).

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
  That mark our place; and in the sky
  The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

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.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
  The torch; be yours to hold it high.
  If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
      In Flanders fields.

Photo by Laurentiu Iordache on Unsplash
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