Remembrance Day is the one day each year when we remember those who fought to defend our freedom, and those that continue to serve in our armed forces.
And that is the problem. One day each year we remember. And the other 364 days we are more than happy to forget.
For the rest of the year we ignore the freedom for which so many Canadians died. We allow our government to waste our tax dollars and ignore its duty to protect our citizens. We fund our military at such a low level that 40 year old helicopters fall out of the sky, soldiers go to the desert to fight wearing green uniforms, and second hand submarines catch fire.
I hate Remembrance Day because it fills me with shame. Shame for how my country treats those that risk life and limb to defend our freedom.
Today, there will be Remembrance Day ceremonies all over this country, some with federal Members of Parliament from the government in attendance. How can they look the old vets in the eye? Or face presently serving members of our Armed Forces?
Perhaps I am judging them too harshly, for politicians are picked by the people, only doing their will. The present government has faced the people four times, has never changed its policy towards our defence, and has won the most number of seats every time.
The same people who complain about the “Damn Americans” are more than happy to let them defend our country. Freedom is not cheap. Ask any veteran. Unfortunately, Canadians are unwilling to pay even the least expensive part of that price, the portion paid in money, not blood.
When the next war comes, and it will, there will a price to be paid for our lack of preparation, and it will be paid in blood.
Actions speak louder than words. The speeches by our politicians every Remembrance Day purporting to honour the service of those in the military ring hollow. These are just words. It is their actions, the decisions they take with regard to preparing to defend freedom that speak to me. It is the true measure of how they view the sacrifice of those that fought. And it is an indicator of how they will view the future sacrifice of those who will fight and die for this country.
When the Prime Ministers’ plan to increase the Regular and Reserve Force fails to meet its targets perhaps it is because many Canadians already sense that their government does not value their sacrifice.
Soldiers fight for the man beside them, but they join for higher purpose. They join to defend their country, to defend those who cannot defend themselves, and to defend freedom.
Lest We Forget