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Living with Schizoaffective Disorder
Scultpure of an angel bearing a fallen soldier up to Heaven.

The War Memorial at Waterfront Station in Vancouver B.C.

Why Does This Move Me So?

Let those who come after see to it that their names not be forgotten.

Michael David Crawford, Baritone,

September 23, 2006

Copyright © 2006 Michael David Crawford. All Rights Reserved.

Is it because my Mother Country is fighting in a war?

Is it because my adopted country fights one too?

Is it because my father was a military man who served his country during wartime?

I don't know, but it does move me. Twice each day on the way to and from work, I walk past the War Memorial at Waterfront Station in Vancouver. Everyone else just walks on past without giving it a glance. Sometimes a tourist takes a snapshopt. But each time I stop for a moment, gaze upon it and reflect.

This morning before sunrise I bolted awake with the image of it fixed firmly in my mind's eye. And - I could not help it - I wept. How I wept!

The bronze plaque at the foot of the War Memorial sculpture.

The sculpture depicts an angel bearing a fallen soldier up towards Heaven. The bronze plaque at the base of the sculpure reads:

To commemorate those in the service of The Canadian Pacific Railway Company who, at the call of King and country, left all that was dear to them, endured hardship, faced danger, and finally passed out of sight of men by the path of duty and self sacrifice, giving up their own lives that others might live in freedom. Let those who come after see to it that their names not be forgotten.

1914 - 1918 1939-1945

I got paid yesterday. Very helpfully the bank didn't put a hold on my paycheck. Early this afternoon I walked to my bank to withdraw my rent money from the ATM, then took the SkyTrain out to my new apartment. I live downstairs in a house; my landlady C. and her husband F. live upstairs. C. very generously cut me a break by asking me not to pay my rent until I got my second paycheck.

Walking back to the SkyTrain I reflected on my fascination with the War Memorial. And I realized it was this:

I am one of the lucky ones. Despite all the hardships I have endured, I still lived to tell the tale. The Memorial commemorates those who don't have such a choice. It was only theirs to do or die, and they died.

The other day I came across the following quote:

Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear.
-- Ambrose Redmoon

The madness of war has in common with the madness of the mind that one must face fear. To win a war or to find sanity, one must have courage. But to be courageous does not mean that one is unafraid, not by any means. Courage is the determination not to let one's fear stop one from winning the battle.

But no amount of courage is any guarantee of survival. The very bravest soldiers knowingly give their lives in acts of heroism to save their comrades or to win battles.

Let those of us to whom God has given another day remember their sacrifice.

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