Lest we forget… a poignant annual ritual.

Every year I gather with my family and my community, usually in inclement weather, to pay homage to a group of people I have been fortunate enough not have been a part of.
In order to be counted within this group, you would have to have given the ultimate sacrifice of either your life or the life of someone you love.

We would like to think that their deaths were a heroic event, but that isn’t often the case. It was in life that they were heroic, when they went into battle in our name and were forever changed.

I watch the faces of those who’ve come back, as they march by me. Swallowing hard, my aching hands try to clap louder so they can hear my gratitude and my sorrow.
We may not always believe in the cause, but who can help but admire their willingness to go into certain hardship.

A soldiers reflection at the Halifax Public Gardens7000 Canadian soldiers participated in the Second Boer War (1899-1902). Like many wars our troops are sent to, our involvement in this one was a great source of conflict to Prime Minister, Sir Wilfred Laurier and his cabinet.
Surrounded by a ring of weeping trees, the Boer War Memorial fountain (Soldier’s fountain) was erected in 1903 to commemorate the 277 Canadian soldiers who died during this conflict.

Icicles on the Boer War fountain at the Halifax Public GardensIcicles form on the Fagus sylvatica ‘Pendula’ (Weeping European beech tree) on a cold morning leading up to our day of remembrance.

Billy Pickering at the Halifax Public Gardens

Billy Pickering, a 16 year old Nova Scotian was chosen as a model for the Canadian Mounted Rifleman mounted on top of the Soldier’s Memorial Fountain. The producers of the fountain, the Walter MacFarlane & Company foundry, liked him so much they included his figure in future catalogues.Frost at the Halifax Public Gardens

Frost gathers on the perennial borders.

Frost and flowers at the Halifax Public GardensA few hardy species continue to remind us that it isn’t over yet.

Tilting in opposite directionsThese duck don’t know what to make of this American Coot.

Ginkgo biloba at the Halifax Public GardensThe Ginkgo bilobas were irridescent mid-week!

Acer griseum at the Halifax Public GardensAnd the Acer griseum (Paperbark maple tree) was aflame. It is much stouter than last year and will one day make a fine specimen… though it’s doing a pretty good job already.

A saluting dog at the Halifax Public Gardens

Does this look like a toppled saluting dog to you? I wonder what Freud would say…

Missing no longer- detail on the VJ fountain at the Halifax Public GardensAfter going for a little trip this summer, then being hurled over a fence, the gargoyle on the VJ fountain faces the cold.

Path along the Gardener's Lodge at the Halifax Public GardensThe path leading to the Gardener’s Lodge is covered in Ginkgo biloba leaves, a plant that is used medicinally to improve memory… lest we forget.


3 thoughts on “Lest we forget… a poignant annual ritual.

  1. Although ALL the photo collections are lovely and inspirational, particularly for gardeners, this “Lest we Forget” grouping is poignant, thoughtful and so appropriate for the sentiments of November 11. The Gardens spoke…and wept.
    Thank you.

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