Dear Kurt Vonnegut

Happy Birthday. It’s funny that you were born on Remembrance Day, a day of reflection on humankind’s worst failures at maintaining civility. We reflect on the cost of those failures on men and women. Most of them innocent and helpless.

This year, I forgot about wearing a poppy. I regret that. I didn’t go to the Cenotaph for a service either. I stood in the centre of the produce/salad-dressing aisle in a downtown Safeway during the moment of silence. A voice, presumably the manager’s, came over the intercom. It told us to have a moment of silence.

I did. Someone asked if they needed red peppers. A man in a motorized wheel chair wheeled past, thanking me for moving out of his way. Then the voice returned. It thanked us for being silent. Everybody started shopping again.

Thank you for making me remember that people can be better to people than people have been in the past.


Fergis T. McGillicuddy