Friday, November 11, 2011

Remembrance Day 2011 – and The McLaren Family

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Today’s Blog Post
Special Note Today
The following post was first made on December 6, 2008. Today I am posting it again on this day that we remember what our Canadian Military Men and Women have done overseas. Many have given their lives in the cause of World Peace.

In December 2008 Mark McLaren was killed in Afghanistan. His mom and dad live two doors away from us. They have become our neighbors and friends.

On this Remembrance Day 2011, I want to specially remember Mark again and his family.
Remembrance Day 2011 – and The McLaren Family
“When the War came to Our Street”
Over these past years I have followed the reports of the war in Afghanistan with mild interest. I have watched the TV reports like everyone else as the soldiers that are fighting there have come home. I have prayed for them and loved them from a distance. I have received oodles of the patriotic emails where we are encouraged to pray.

This past summer I had driven on or near the Ontario 401 Highway as the families brought back their fallen sons from Afghanistan – along “The Highway of Heroes” – a section of the highway designated in memory of the soldiers that have died in the war. It runs from Trenton, Ontario to Toronto where the body is brought for the final “inspection”.

It has been moving to see hundreds of Canadians standing on the overpass bridges above the 401 holding flags and wearing red clothing.

Things have changed for me yesterday. The War in Afghanistan came home for us.

Two days ago a new family moved into their “new home” just two doors down. Our whole street wondered who might buy the home that was “For Sale” the last months. We tend to welcome our newcomers to the street as we are all close here. The Front Yard Party held in our driveway these past years is a place that we all meet. It has been a place to catch up with each other.

Yesterday there was a large Canadian Flag hanging across the front of the new people’s house two doors down. Yesterday – just after moving in – they got news that their son Cpl. Mark Robert McLaren, 23, was killed in Afghanistan.

The War came to our street. I have not yet met the family. A friend of the family came knocking on our door to explain what had happened. I received a call from one of our neighbours that was concerned as well.

What will we say? How will we help? I can only hope that somehow the words will be there when we meet soon.

I really don’t have a lot of words to say today. However this morning in my email my friend Brenda sent me the following short email that included these words. I dedicate these words to Cpl. Mark Robert McLaren and his family. They fit so well. And I also hope that we as Canadians will see that Mark was a little boy in our community that learned from all of us. Yet we have now learned from him as well.

The War came to our street and I am not sure how to help. But I can say – “Thank you Mark McLaren – your sacrifice has been so very great. Thank you.”

~ Murray Lincoln ~
A Source to Consider:


(A message every adult should read because children
are watching you and doing as you do, not as you say. )

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you hang my
first painting on the refrigerator, and I immediately
wanted to paint another one.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you feed a
stray cat, and I learned that it was good to be kind
to animals.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you make my
favorite cake for me, and I learned that the little
things can be the special things in life.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I heard you say a
prayer, and I knew that there is a God I could always
talk to, and I learned to trust in Him.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you make a
meal and take it to a friend who was sick, and I
learned that we all have to help take care of each

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you give of
your time and money to help people who had nothing,
and I learned that those who have something should
give to those who don't.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you take care
of our house and everyone in it, and I learned we have
to take care of what we are given.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw how you
handled your responsibilities, even when you didn't
feel good, and I learned that I would have to be
responsible when I grow up.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw tears come
from your eyes, and I learned that sometimes things
hurt, but it's all right to cry.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw that you
cared, and I wanted to be everything that I could be.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I learned most of
life's lessons that I need to know to be a good and
productive person when I grow up.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I looked at you and
wanted to say, “Thanks for all the things I saw when
you thought I wasn't looking.”


Each of us (parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, teacher, friend)
influences the life of a child.

How will you touch the life of someone today? Just by
sending this to someone else, you will probably make
them at least think about their influence on others.
Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly.

Leave the rest to God.

~ Murray Lincoln ~

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