Let this day of remembrance serve to honor our fallen dead and all fallen dead of the wars that they did not choose but were forced to fight so that we and the world could once again know peace. Allies become enemies over time as governments change and events make talking impossible, but our soldiers must go where they are sent and do what soldiers all over the world do in times of war and that is to follow orders and keep safe from harm the people of their country.
Being a soldier ends one’s personal choices, because an army can not have a group of individuals acting on their own and so no matter what an individual soldier believes he will lay down his life for that of what his government says are the will of his country.
It is these selfless men and women that we owe a debt of gratitude that can never be paid. We owe them all not those that paid the ultimate sacrifice, or lost limbs, or suffered diseases or returned emotionally not as sound as when they went to war, but even the soldier that returned unharmed. For sometimes it is the living soldier that is easily forgotten when the war is won, the fear gone and the country’s way of life is preserved once again.
The dead suffer no more and indeed I thank them for dying for me, but our thanks of today must be followed through tomorrow with things like medical help for injuries not easily seen right away, mental illness, veteran’s burial financing allowances and support to ailing veterans families. Our veterans need help finding work outside the military when their country no longer needs them to serve, so they do not end up homeless on the streets, alone, like they too often do now.
Every year sadly my message on this day must be the same and it is this, “We as Canadians love march lay wreaths at home and abroad and take Remembrance Day very seriously on November 11th, but it is not enough by a long shot. We are responsible for the government, for Prime Minister Harper’s actions against or non actions towards veteran’s well-being and so their present sad state of affairs rest on our shoulders and should weigh heavily on our consciences and hearts.
I say this to you who only march in parades, you who only lay wreaths on the 11th of November and think your job done, that it is not. Your job will not be done until every veteran and their children and spouses if living are doing so with dignity; in a home, eating properly and getting all of the support they need whatever that support is and no matter the cost. Your job will not be done until when their time comes that every veteran is buried in a dignified manner beside his brothers and sisters in arms at the country’s expense that he served and not at the expense of his family, for they have already been burdened enough. Next time you look at as homeless person sleeping in the streets, or begging for food, understand that this could be one of your heroes for whom you parade, or for whose parent now dead you laid a wreath, because as I have said before, unfortunately this is the new reality for our new young men and women returning from war in the service of their country.
Let us try to remember and think of our enemies fallen soldiers with respect for they like our young men and women are willing to lay down their lives for the very same reasons that our young men and women do even though their cause always different from ours. In battle people will die, but we must never stop trying not to go to war and we must really never forget that war must always be the last choice. It must be the last choice because every soldier has a family that loves them and followers and countrymen that think them right and their deaths will be felt by someone and affect someone.
The time we should be aiming for is the day when veteran’s days like this are no longer needed, when young men and women no longer have to die in foreign lands or defending their homelands. So in closing it is this that I pray for as I respectfully remember those brave men on this another Remembrance Day.
Remembrance Day needs to mean more than a one day a year celebration of thanks, but needs to be carried out in deeds of thanks all year round. We know as Canadians that this government in particular has slashed away at most of the support our veteran’s families could count on and most of the support they themselves could count on so that a government’s and a Prime Minister’s, Economic Plan may realise a successful conclusion. March in parades of protest until our veterans receive all that they are entitled to for this will do more for veterans then a million wreaths laid under a million statues in their honor. Veterans cannot eat flowers and statues can neither hear or feel your thanks. Last but not least stop voting for politicians who think taking care of our veterans is money wasted.