Remembrance Day is tomorrow and it always leads to memories of my grandfather and just how thankful I am to have had him in my life. My grandfather, John Sebastian, was in the Royal Canadian Navy, a veteran of World War II. He was a proud Navy man. He wore an anchor around his neck for most of his life. When I was in highschool, he was gifted a new gold anchor and gave his original anchor to me. He spoke of his ship and his shipmates. He told me stories about his best friend who was killed during the war and gave me a picture of the two of them together which was taken one day while on leave during the war.
I once painted his ship on the back of his RCN spring jacket for a ship reunion. Apparently it was very well recieved by him and his shipmates. It was the only thing I asked for when he passed away, the picture long faded, but the mutual pride and love forever remain.
The stories he shared were always happy, he would never share the sad stories. Whenever anyone asked, he always said “I do not want you to know about the things I have seen, I do not want you to live with them as I do.” I never asked again, his point was clear. It is a point I have heard many others in the military make as well, and I respect it and am grateful for how they protect my peace of mind. Because that is what they do, not only protect our freedom, but our peace of mind.
Before my grandfather passed away, he participated in every reunion and gathering with his fellow shipmates and he participated in every Remembrance Day ceremony at the cenotaph. I don’t know if he ever missed one.
I can only hope I thanked him enough for his sacrifice and his love while he was alive. But I do thank him and every man and woman in the service every year on November 11th by rocking the poppy and observing a minutes silence at 11am. So in honor of the veterans that have fought for our freedom, I have designed a thank you note for Remembrance Day so you can thank someone in your life; a friend, a grandparent, a veteran. You can DOWNLOAD IT HERE!
Download, print, and give thanks. It is my thank you to you as well, for reading and coming back!
I remember. Love you grandpa.