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November 11, 2002

        I attended the Remembrance/Veterans Day ceremony at the Gabriola Island Cenotaph…on the west coast of beautiful British Columbia, Canada. Three of the Queen’s finest stood at attention in their red-serge, dress uniforms. There were several hundred of us civilians gathered to pay our respects to a seeming handful of aging veterans.

        It was an extremely profound experience for me, for I buried my veteran father three years ago in Washington State. As the flag was lowered to half-mast, three Harvard trainers thundered overhead, wing tip to wing tip, then disappeared. Shortly, they returned to complete their fly-past. There were tears in peoples' eyes, as well as my own, as the flag was returned to full staff… but what struck me most as I walked away from the crowd was this: a bald eagle swooped in, circling over those assembled. Only a few of us saw the eagle circling directly over the gathering (including friends Jason and Kevin). It was as if the eagle had been choreographed to execute her own fly-past. I am pretty sure she was sent by a force stronger than all of us!

        I was born in the frost of Robert Service’s Yukon Territory. My father (Tony) served during WW2 with the American Air Force. . My great-uncle Don also served with the U.S.A.F. and received the “silver star” for bravery under fire. My uncle Joe (still alive) served as a machinist with the Canadian Army, and designed a machine-gun turret for which the Army held a patent. My name-sake uncle Danny was “killed in action” serving with the U.S. Navy…LEST WE FORGET!

        In the lobby of the airport terminal in Whitehorse, Yukon hangs an original Norman Rockwell painting, depicting the head of an Army Air-Corps fighter pilot, super-imposed onto the body of an eagle in flight. The painting is probably worth millions…yet there it hangs, ignored by passers-by. I was born on that same airport property in November1947, when it was still a U.S. Air Force base. Seems that the Americans left us a Norman Rockwell masterpiece….

Lest We Forget. God Save the Queen of England & the British Commonwealth of Nations

~ Daniel Yanovich


*Music track by Lale Anderson. Published in 1939. Original German lyrics from a poem
The Song of a Young Sentry
by World War I German soldier, Hans Leip 22.9.1893 in
Hamburg. Read the entire story here.