I saw a remarkable piece where a group of 8 – 10 year olds asked an 86 year old man who was a tank driver in WWII about his experiences. They had some amazing questions from “Where did you sleep?” to “What did you like about the war the most” It is kids at this age that have the innocence and honesty to ask questions that most of us would not ask but once they are asked think that is such a good question.
We take one day each year to honor and remember the veterans. Most people think we are honoring those who fought and died for us and that is how Remembrance Day started but now I feel it should be much more than that. It was started in 1919 by King George V to commemorate the sacrifices of the armed forces and civilians in times of war but especially WWI. It has come to signify all military personal whom have died in conflicts and a time to honor both those who have died and those who have served.
Canada is assisting in an action in Afghanistan as I write this and every time one of those brave men and women die you hear the media bring up this survey or that study that says the majority of the people want our troops removed. I have yet to hear the widow or parents of one of these brave soldiers express anything other than how proud they were of the person who died and how much they believed in what they were doing. It is one thing for the Canadian military to spew out dogma and toe the line but it is another thing for the survivors to go on TV and say how much their loved believed in what they were doing.
I would like to have our government conduct a poll that asked how would you feel if overnight women were no longer allowed to be educated, no longer allowed to continue in their careers and even leave there homes unattended and dressed a specific way. I don’t think the results would be favorable especially from the women and yet this is what the Taliban did and the penalties for women who violated these rules were harsh including death by stoning.
I know the occupation by the Taliban and subsequent removal has much more to do with resources and political power but to me it was always about having 50% of your population losing their rights overnight and the world standing by and doing nothing. I don’t kid myself that we can solve the problems in Afghanistan but I hope we do not abandon that country.
I digress, Remembrance Day, one day and then for many of us we remove the poppy and go back to our business but all I ask is this and you know what ask is not the right word, I CHALLENGE EVERYONE WHO CHERISHES THEIR FREEDOM.
Until next Remembrance Day when you see an elderly person think about what they went through during WW2 (as most of the WW1 veterans and civilians have passed on). Imagine a time when 70% of the young able body men were not here they were in another country fighting and dying and for those still in Canada basic necessities were rationed. If they are walking slow in the mall or maybe taking their time to park, or your behind them in line at the bank, give them that extra time, try and not to get impatient or short with them. This will not be easy for me but I am going to try.
THEY HAVE DESERVED OUR RESPECT AND ADMIRATION
This year more than most I cherish my freedom. I am not sure how long it will last anymore, it is not a given.