Missing Our Soldiers

Reconciliation Monument - Ottawa, Canada
Reconciliation Monument – Ottawa 22.05.2020

One of the reasons I took this photograph is because our soldiers are no longer protecting the tomb of our Unknown Soldier at Canada’s National War Memorial. Perhaps another casualty of the corona virus.

As a Canadian, I won’t tell you what’s right or wrong but the soldiers that protect the tomb of the Unknown Soldier do so with incredible pride. They realize that the tomb and the National War Memorial represent this great nation, it’s ideals, it’s passions and it’s people.

Today many have fallen, continue to fall and many will remain unknown. Some however will be remembered as soldiers with all of the qualities of Canada’s finest. To the Canadian people the missing sentries are much more than a tourist attraction and now more than ever need to be present.

Rick Carroll

Not Newsworthy

Museum of History - 05/05/2020
Museum of History – Gatineau 05.05.2020

Did you know that I am the only Canadian over 60 with C.O.P.D. (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) who chose to leave his part time job for a period of 3 months when his place of work was re-classified as non-essential? That day was April 9th, 2020.

To be fair, the diagnosis of C.O.P.D. is pretty much assigned to anyone who has been a lifetime smoker, which I am guilty of.

My questions is, “Is this a story and am I really the only one?”

The reality of my choice is that I may not have a job to go back to because my actions were not seen as a leave of absence. I was offered to be laid off but was informed that doing so would allow the company to call me back at any time. This information was given to me by the company. So I could have been called back in a day or two, a week or weeks, months and possibly not at all. Who knows? What was clear to me was that I was not willing to have any company choose when I should return and I wanted wait for the experts to inform and perhaps guide my decision as things progressed.

From my perspective, this part time job was my lifeline as much as any full time job. It fed me and kept my bills paid as I worked on photography just as I’ve done for decades. I do however have the added benefit of early C.P.P. which gives me an extra $300 or so a month. 25 hours a week has been enough to do these things.

I believe that the decisions we make as we get older should change. Ideally they should possess some knowledge and at least a hint of wisdom. Does it make sense for a man over 60 to hold onto a minimum wage job and give the control of that risk to a company?

As my brother would say, “Everyone has a right to their own opinion, even if they are wrong.” There is only one answer to my question, and I left that job. Any other decision would have been fear based or based on the things that we’ve been told such as “Never quit a job.” etc… I ask that you do not torture your children with such antiquated garbage thinking.

Short story long, ( “Yes I wrote it that way on purpose and ‘No” I do not use Grammarly.” ) what I wanted from all of this is for people to think that there is perhaps more out there, more situations and challenges that other Canadians may not be aware of or have not even considered.

I’ve sent a smaller, less painful version of this story a while back to The Ottawa Citizen ( twice ), two members of parliament in West Quebec ( because I live in Gatineau now ) and the CBC. I get that they are all bombarded at this time but I do wonder what they think. Maybe I’ll try Global News next.

Thanks for reading.

Rick Carroll

Friendly Borders

Gatineau Police - 29/04/2020
Gatineau Police 28.04.2020

I had a nice chat with this police officer as I headed home on foot after crossing the du Portage bridge. It’s nice to see that Corona hasn’t taken the “friendly” out of everyone.

Rick Carroll

National Gallery

National Gallery of Canada
National Gallery – Ottawa 25.2.2020

I’m often stopped by tourists in downtown Ottawa and asked where they should go and what they should see. At some level, perhaps delusional, I feel like the ambassador to Ottawa, my hometown, and I am always honoured to assist and direct to the best of my ability the people who travel here. Typically within seconds I rhyme off a list of places, a list that always starts with The National Gallery of Canada.

Rick Carroll

All Lives Matter

Wellington 007 - Ottawa 201?
Wellington Street – Ottawa 201?

This is one of my favourite photographs. Unfortunately the original file sits on a damaged hard drive.

When I first heard of the movement “Black Lives Matter” I thought “Ridiculous!” Of course Black lives matter. My issue here is that such words and often the creation of groups or communities in reality, segregate.

Rick Carroll