I walk almost daily past the grave of William Lyon MacKenzie King. Who? Well, yes, he did die in 1950, so there are probably three generations, who never really knew him. For the record, he was the Prime Minister of Canada, when the Liberals were in power, which was on and off for almost thirty years from 1920 to 1948.
Why do I happen to mention him today? Well, you see, there is a Canadian flag that flies over his busy grave site. That is, there are a number of MacKenzies and Kings buried there and there is also a plaque outlining his life and a basket of flowers, plus a wreath from last year, which I wish someone would remove - oh, why bother, winter is hard upon us and it doesn't look that bad on a sunny day. There is also a woman, whom I have seen on several occasions, talking to herself or maybe to William, at the foot of his tomb. Although, it's not a really large plot of land, it supports a lot of activity. People stop and stare, or read the plaque, or bow, as a nod to a pilgrimage completed. Plus there are the money lenders. Did I mention the coin - the nickels, dimes and quarters that are regularly left on his coffin - it's a busy and I might add, productive piece of Real Estate!!
But I digress. I was talking about the flag. Because the grave is a "government" site, (we are never really free, even in death) the flag, or at least those who maintain the flag, make sure that it flies according to parliamentary instructions. Most of the time it flies, majestically, at topmast. However, there are times, when we grieve as a nation, and the flag flies at half mast.
It flew at half mast for the death of Nelson Mandela and it was flying at half mast today, no doubt for the deaths last week of two cherished servicemen, who died in the line of duty, in Canada. Both were killed by radicals embracing Islam.
I am sure that MacKenzie King is rolling over in his grave this week. Would he have ever imagined the threats that we are under now? Maybe he would. He lived through Hitler. "The more things change, the more they remain the same." I have only to look at the position of the flag to know the state of our nation. To date, I have never seen it flown upside down.
Have an amazing day!!
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