Saturday, 10 November 2012


Tomorrow on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, we in Canada take two minutes of silence to honour all of those who died fighting to keep our country free. We in the Commonwealth call it Remembrance Day.

Days of remembrance are known as Memorial Day, Armistice Day, Veterans Day, Anzac Day and Volkstauertag Day. I am sure there are other days that countries around the world use to commemorate their countries fallen heroes. These days are not all on November 11th, but are on significant dates for the countries involved. It would be better if there wasn’t a need for these days of remembrance, but humans being the violent species that we are, we definitely need to remember.

Not only do we remember our fallen heroes, but we honour those people that have worn and are still wearing a Canadian uniform, defending our right to freedom and in many cases, the right of others to have their freedom. I have gone to formal ceremonies on this day, but more often than not I will be at home and watch the ceremony on TV from Ottawa and observe my minutes of silence and respect in the privacy of my own home. Last year I went to a ceremony with my daughter and Hurricane and Tornado. The kids didn’t really understand what was going on, but they and millions like them are the reason the wars were fought. The chance for them to be happy and care free is worth the sacrifice.

I was born in a generation that came between wars. I guess we don’t have wars any more; they are called Police actions, peace keeping or taking the role of advisors. To my way of thinking, anytime you are in a foreign place, carrying a gun and being shot at or blown up, then you are in a war. When I was growing up, the US was involved in Vietnam and many, many people died from both sides. I was against it and went to protests where people made speeches saying that war was bad. Yes, it is.

I eventually got to know quite a few American draft dodgers and a deserter or two. They were just kids like me but the difference was that their government told them they were going to join the army and go to Vietnam where they would kill other people. My biggest concern at the time was would I have enough money to buy the new “Abbey Road” album and why don’t we get any decent concerts in Toronto.

Vietnam was a bad war. Korea was a police action, so I guess it didn’t count, but if it did it would be a bad war. WWI & WWII were good wars. What did I mean by good and bad?
I guess I meant a conflict that threatened my country and my way of life was good. The war that was ideological in nature or based on fossil fuels would be bad. Now I know that all wars are bad and some are necessary, I only hope that the governments can work things out in the future so I don’t have to see my grandsons become vets.

I will be silent for two minutes tomorrow and I will think of the sacrifices that have been made for me over the years. I will think of how the government should find a way to avoid sending young men and women into battle in the future. I will thank whatever Gods happen to be listening, for not making me a soldier. I wouldn’t have been very good at it. I will take a portion of those two minutes to thank my dad and all of my friend’s fathers that fought and returned from battle. I’ll think of a new friend who served in the army just recently.

To all of the Vets and honored fallen…WE WILL REMEMBER. 

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