I was born in the last winter of World War II and as an avid radio listener I was confused about the conflict somewhere in Asia called the "Korean Police Action", Canada never officially recognised the Korean war for what it really was and the same holds true today as Canadians and their government seem to be unaware that our country is at war with an unknown, unspecified enemy, in a war that was never declared, yet just as in Korea and all the wars Canadians have been involved, there are causualties. Death is what defines war.
Since Canada became a country it has sent soldiers, sailors and airmen off to fight and die in lands far away. The Boer War in South Africa, the Great War called World War I in which our country lost more than 100,000 young men, Canadians dashed off to war in China before World War II was declared and they were sacrified in the conflict in Europe. We Canadians went to war in the Middle East as peace keepers, did the same in the Balkans and Cyprus now fighting men and women are victims of war, sometime from enemy hands and some times from their allies, in the hopeless war in Afghanistan.
When World War II ended, Canada had the third largest navy in the world. Since then, we have maintained an armed force able to serve on land, at sea and in the air. As a country we had made committments in treaties and to the people of this planet, who belong to the United Nations and our successive governments have carefully and with sad resignation, accepted the fact that as a responsible country, we must at times do our part for a variety of reasons. Sometimes for humanitarian reasons, other times, from a sense of justice. We all know that our politicians would not and have not let our people get into wars for anything but the best of intentions and sadly lives are lost.
Each life is not just a loss for his or her family, but for each and everyone of his or her countrymen, for their untimely removal has meant that the good that they could do, went undone. I believe, that part of Remembrance Day is not only remembering those who did not return, or came home damages physically and emotionally, but Remembrance Day is also about the tragic loss of potential.
The political gibberish of the First World War was that the conflict was the war to end all wars. World War II was to bring peace and prevent the spread of Fascism. What hallow excuses are thrown up at each conflict and our amazing people accept the responsibility for being a soldier, sailor or airman, on behalf of us, their fellow citizens.
To you, I demand that you consider these excuses for organised slaughter and re-dedicate yourself to the things that each and every Canadian warrior considered what they were accepting the possibility of death for. The rights of the Canadian Charter of Rights must be what Canada is about, our way of life, our common accepted belief that we as a people, must look after each other, it is part of being Canadian.
When politicians and those who would claim to be leaders propose, or enact measures that violate what Canadians have given their lives to protect, we must resist. We must fight each and every day for what Canadian service men and women have dedicated their lives to and so often lost their lives for, and not take these things for granted.
"if yea break faith with us who die we will not rest though poppies grow in Flanders fields."