Charity registration No. SC002876  
Sunday November 3rd. 2013
Remembrance Sunday, November 10th. Next year marks the centenary of the start of the First World War – the War that was supposed to end all wars, and which finally finished on 11th November 1918 after four years of fighting. The total of military and civilians killed on all sides during this first conflict was in excess of 37 million. The Second World War, from 1939 to 1945, was to register over 60 million dead from all sides. The first official Armistice Day was held in the grounds of Buckingham Palace on the morning of November 11th, 1919, but after the end of the Second world War, most Armistice Day events were moved to the nearest Sunday to November 11th, and began to commemorate both World Wars. The new commemoration was named Remembrance Sunday or Remembrance Day. Most Commonwealth countries observe this date, but New Zealand has its Remembrance Day on Anzac Day on 25the April, while Germany  observes a national day of mourning since 1952 on the Sunday closest to 16th November, the Catholic Church in Germany on All Souls Day, and the Lutheran Church on Eternity Sunday the last Sunday before Advent. The symbol of Remembrance, the red poppy, was first suggested in 1918 by The American Legion. An American woman, Moina Michael, lifted a magazine as she waited to help at the YMCA  Overseas War Secretaries HQ Conference in New York. It was the 9th November 1918, two days before the Armistice was to be declared, and her eyes fell on a poem in the magazine.
“In Flanders fields the poppies grow Between the crosses, row on row, That mark our place; and in the sky The larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below.” It was by a soldier, Lieutenant Colonel John McRae, who had died of pneumonia several months earlier before the end of the war. Soldiers noticed how the sights and sounds of nature could be seen and heard through the fog of battle. They spoke of how birds, and most particularly the lark, could be heard twittering high in the sky even during the fury of an artillery bombardment. John McRae had observed the delicate, vibrant red flowers of the poppies growing on the shattered earth of the battleground, and noticed how they had sprung up in the disturbed ground of burials around the artillery position he was in. It inspired him to write his poem, the verse above being only part of it. The verse inspired Mrs Michael to see the poppy as a symbol of those who had died, and as a memorial to all who died on Flanders Fields. She went out and searched the shops, finding one large, and twenty four small silk ones, which she distributed that evening to delegates from the Conference. In 1921 The British Legion adopted the poppy too. We are so familiar with the red poppy every November as we observe the two minutes silence on Armistice Day and recall with gratitude the sacrifice of the brave millions who perished in these terrible conflicts.   M.M.
Congratulations to…. Christopher MacRae, Spean Bridge and Cara MacKay, Caol, who were married in St. John’s. Caol, last Saturday, October 26th. Christopher is the son of Donnie and Gillian MacRae, Aonachan  Drive, Spean Bridge. Despite the unsettled weather, the day remained dry, and the sun even came out to shine on the bride, who looked radiant and happy. Christopher's aunt and uncle, Jessie and Calum MacKenzie, and their daughter, Kathleen, came over all the way from Texas for the wedding, which made it very special for the young couple. We wish Christopher and Cara every blessing and happiness in their future life together. I believe twenty-six of the respective families and friends accompanied them on their honeymoon to Madeira! Left: Christopher and Cara MacRae, after their marriage.
Mass today at Cille Choirill at 3 p.m. Today is the final Mass of the year at Cille Choirill, and it will be a Requiem Mass for the dead since the Sunday is so close to the  Commemoration of All Souls. I am grateful to all who have come to the Cille  Choirill Masses so faithfully since Easter, some who travel a distance to be there. May God bless you.