Friday, September 30, 2005

Remembrance Day is For Everyone

Every year, on Remembrance Day morning, I take my two daughters to our local cenotaph in Toronto to partake in the service. They are both still too young to fully understand exactly what it’s all about, but every year we go together. It is important to me that, when they become adults, they carry with them a realization of, and appreciation for, the sacrifices made by the brave men who fought and died defending the world against tyranny and Nazism and the strong, courageous women who kept our nation together during those horrific times.

On the drive to the cenotaph I see the schools filled with our young people. I see sidewalks, plazas, cars and shops teaming with immigrants of many different skin colors, religions and ethnic backgrounds.

Then I arrive at the cenotaph to see a small group of people who are mostly white and up there in age. And I wonder, where is everyone else? Where are the representatives from all the ethnic communities? Where are all the young people and children? Was Remembrance Day designated an “old white persons” day by our government?

Sixty years ago our world was being torn apart by a fanatical madman who was in the process of taking over Europe and all the countries around him. It is estimated that Hitler was responsible for the deaths of over 10 million civilians. This doesn’t even include the soldiers who died fighting him.

Imagine what madness would have ensued if Hitler had not been defeated and had won control of all the resources in Europe and Russia. Imagine that madman in possession of Russia's nuclear capabilities. Imagine how many would have died. How long do you suppose it would have taken him to move on to Africa, India, Asia and other parts of the world? Surely, our world would not be the same today. In fact, it is not inconceivable to imagine that the world would be so different that many of the people who have immigrated to Canada since WWII would never have been able to come here at all. Our lives would be so different that the spouses we have today may never have entered our lives and the children we have may never have been born. There may not even be a Canada as we know it today. All that we are, all that we have, we owe to those who suffered and died defending our way of life.

And yet, here we are, those born here and those who immigrated here, people of all ages and ethnic backgrounds, all of us owing a tremendous debt of gratitude to the Canadian soldiers who died defeating Hitler. Why is it, I wonder, that so few of us feel inclined to demonstrate that gratitude by attending Remembrance Day ceremonies?

Surely, our veterans deserve better. So, in the spirit of Canadian inclusiveness, I’d like to extend a invitation to everyone, especially our ethnic community leaders, to put aside some time this Remembrance day morning. Wear a poppy. Rally your family, friends and constituents. Take your kids out of school. Call your local Legion, find out where the closest cenotaph is and attend the ceremony. You will not believe the feeling in your heart when the National anthem plays and the veterans stand at attention with the Canadian flag waiving proud and free. Sure, there’s the Lord’s prayer and some Christian references. But who do you think the Canadian soldiers prayed to as they were being massacred? You don’t have to worship their god to appreciate the strength their faith gave them. And your being there will show them that you appreciate the profound sacrifice they made.

I invite everyone to join me, celebrate our freedom and pay respect to those who gave us that freedom. It’s the least any of us can do for those to whom we owe so much.


Blogger Candace said...

What an excellent idea - I'm linking you. Maybe we bloggers can have an impact on turnouts across the country - wouldn't that be great?

4:34 PM  
Blogger Justthinkin said...

Yes INP...the government has by default declared it an"old white man's" day. WWI is not even taught in school any more.Come to think of it,the ONLY Canadian history taught now is if it somehow involves the Liberals. They are the new socialist scrourge.I'm ex-military. One of the reasons I left was because of what the buggers where doing do our once proud Forces. Remember, we are a "peace-keeping" country now. Hell, even the so-called War museum in Ottawa has the Somalia incident as the first exhibit. Where are the pictures of Auschwitz,Berchenwald, the ghettos of Poland,Vimy Ridge, Ypres,etc. The Liberals are slowly but surely surrendering this country to socialism, which is one step down from communism, and it is a very short step. And the sheeple of Canada are letting it happen in their stupor.

7:43 PM  

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