This past weekend I had the privilege of attending Southern Ontario Military Muster (“SOMM”) at the Old Essex Civic Arena. See SOMM’s website @: http://militarymuster.ca. Not only did I meet incredible people I was reminded, once again, how fortunate I am to be Canadian.
Canada operates on the Collective Society Belief System: a “team” approach. That concept resounded this weekend in the collective support evident amongst Veterans (Canadian and American), SOMM’s members, vendors and guests. Your writer being Bi-National, Canadian and American with British heritage, stood witnessing the color flag rising with a sense of immeasurable pride and emotion at being all three.
SOMM’s motto is “Preserve, honour, perpetuate, educate in the memory of those who served.” SOMM certainly reached that pinnacle this weekend in exhibits ranging from preserving the Lancaster, detail-oriented opening and closing ceremonies honouring the vets and an eye towards ideas for next year. The show provided a well-rounded military curriculum educating all ages. In fact, I observed several “wee” civilians walking about the grounds flag in hand, singing and waving. Camaraderie was present and felt, by all.
SOMM provided us an extensive history regarding military vehicles. The fairground held tanks, jeeps, and a simulated submarine ride by the Navy. Replicate Emergency Centers were present to give us the feeling of what medical attention entails on the battle field. Being collective, of course, there were also American military vehicles. Pup tents were scattered throughout the Muster. As is customary, many soldiers slept right on the premises. Breakfast, hosted by Local 45th Scouts Canada was served, followed by Opening morning ceremonies. SOMM’s focus for the 2013 event was those that served in the Korean Armed Forces. SOMM and many of the vendors had some real military jewels for sale in the way of antique war metals, war buttons, military uniforms, helmets, and other clothing. In fact, SOMM even sold bumper stickers. What made the vendor event extremely authentic was the notion their tables were displayed inside the 1950’s veteran-built War Memorial Arena. The weather cooperated on both days and turned out to be gorgeous. See how that works when it comes to selfless acts.
Recently, I wrote a column as the Toronto Military Children Examiner. There I gleaned many insights about the Canadian Armed Forces (“CAF”) but had reached a standstill. After having just returned home from the U.S. I was uncertain how to ascertain information about local agencies affiliated with the CAF. This weekend was not only didactic it humbled me to know truly, I know little about the CAF and the Canadian military lifestyle. The level of dedication I felt amongst different divisions of the military: Army, Navy, Air Force, at the SOMM event was magnanimous in spite of all their individual respective losses. Though we all suffer traumatic life events most aren’t as extensive as a military soldier’s, or those his or her family deals with. As I spectated the incredible re-enactment done in the field a sense of empathy came over me for the sacrifices these men and women have made and continue to make.
I thought I had exhausted all the topics on my column but this weekend gave me hope I could still be a voice and Liaison in furthering the causes of the individual agencies affiliated with the CAF. I have, therefore, reopened my Toronto Military column and would encourage any veteran, agency or organization having a military topic to share to contact me @ firstname.lastname@example.org.
What was particularly amazing was the notion that in a “me”-oriented world I was amongst people who understand acts of kindness are still more important than what you own. Selfless individuals bound together by a common cause. Pretty rare in this day and age. This turned out to be a wonderful event rich in military history.
“Our hopes are high. Our faith in the people is great. Our courage is strong. And our dreams for this beautiful country will never die”. - Pierre Trudeau.
Re: Your Examiner. Corinne has written for Examiner since 2009 having written several columns: The National Divorce Support column, Detroit/Windsor Pets Examiner, Toronto Mental Health Examiner and recently the Toronto Military Children Examiner. Corinne has recently released a children’s book Be Proud You Are Canadian. In 2013 Corinne is a contributing author to From Grief to Inspiration, Stories that Lift and Heal the Heart, published in Australia and the United Kingdom. Corinne has recently reopened her Toronto Military Children Examiner column for the purpose of sharing information she recently ascertained regarding extended resources affiliated with the Canadian Armed Forces. Should you have an article you would like to contribute please contact Corinne @ email@example.com.
All articles © Corinne Isaacs-Frontiero, 2013, all Rights Reserved.