Cenotaph: a tomblike monument to someone buried elsewhere, especially one commemorating people who died in a war.
Two countries, side by side in the war and now at peace, Canada and The United States of America commemorate their soldiers on the 11th day of each November: Remembrance Day and Veteran's Day.
As a child, our school in Cardston, Alberta, Canada passed out red poppies to every child on Remembrance Day and we walked, with our classes and teachers, to the town cenotaph. It was on the corner by the courthouse, a few blocks from the school.
We would hear a speech, and at 10 a.m. two minutes of absolute silence was observed. This commemorative ceremony was particularly personal for me. My father and mother were usually there, and often my grandfather, and other relatives. Grandpa Neil returned from World War I, but his oldest son, Thomas Rex Forsyth did not return from World War II.
At some point, before or after the speech and ceremony (or perhaps both), wreaths were laid at the base of the memorial, and we marched back to the school. My father would allow his children to stay with him, and after the crowd cleared we were permitted to trace the name of his brother with our fingers.
F/O Forsyth, T. R.
My oldest brother carries the same given name, Rex.
Dad's cousin's name, Dudley Leavitt is also there.
P/O Leavitt, D.T.
Late this summer I stopped to take some pictures.
I wanted them to help me retain this memory fresh in my mind.
My father taught me to remember.