"A proud day," said Pop Pop

Remembrance Day 2005

Today I remember my Grandfather and many others that served for Canada.

He was a good man and until he learned I was gay did not look upon gays as good people. We both learned as I came out to him. It took a few years and I don't know when it was exactly but his acceptance though never spoken was evident as he welcomed my partner into the family.

He fought to have Grandchildren of veterans to have the right to become members of the Royal Canadian Legion. He was very proud to see me marching in the Williams Lake Branch of the Legion's Parade, in the colour party holding the Canadian Flag. He was proud to be at a Remembrance ceremony when I was working for the government and laid the wreath for the Government of BC. He was wearing his Poppy and a red ribbon for my friend who had recently passed away because of AIDS.

He told me Canada was a great country, that I was making it even better, doing what I was. He never said the word gay to me, he did not have too. He met a friend of mine, who was in the armed forces and gave him a hug telling him he was alright. My friend was there with his partner. We played crib because if you liked someone you played crib.

Today I will play crib with friends and some veterans.

We have come a long way from the days when gays were shunned. My Grandfather knew. Today I remember Pop Pop, our name for our grandfather, others knew him as Bob. Robert Gorst Barnes.

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