As we approach another Remembrance Day, I can’t help but think how quickly we have forgotten the price paid by past generations for the freedoms we all take for granted today. My father was a Major in the Royal Tank Regiment under the command of Field Marshal Montgomery and he, my uncles and other relatives fought the Nazis in North Africa, from Dunkirk through France to Germany. Several of them were profoundly affected by the horrors of war and had to live with the consequences for the rest of their lives, most never really able to talk about what they had seen or been through. The negative mental consequences of suffering from post traumatic stress not readily understood at that time, and as a result, them being admonished to keep a “stiff upper lip” and suffer through it was the norm.
As a race we don’t seem to be able to learn from the lessons of past mistakes made throughout our history, as a result we seem doomed to repeat them over and over again. I see evidence of this in our western cultures growing complacency, with the push for “political correctness” and desire for fast band-aid solutions.
The reality is we live in a world with ever increasing polarization between our western democratic Christian beliefs of separation of church and state and the ever growing global Muslim extremism fanned by rouge clerics and their followers with no such hang-ups.
Fanatics and dictators today understand only too well our current complacency and useless and endless debating of the issues, which gives them the time and license to do whatever they wish. Those that would tear down our democratic institutions and disrupt our freedom are media savvy, well financed and without conscience. To them martyrdom or the death of innocent civilians, are totally justified as an acceptable consequence of their holy war. The really sad part of this is that we’re financing much of this, with billions of our dollars flowing to the middle-east to buy oil, or to China and the rest of Asia to purchase cheap consumer goods, adding to the ever growing deficits we are leaving as a legacy to our children.
On the home front, those that gave their lives for our freedom would shake their heads in disgust at what we are allowing Quebec separatists to get away with and that we actually finance their campaign to do this.
As a British farm boy who immigrated to Canada over 30 years ago, I’m thankful every day for the freedoms and opportunities I and my family are blessed with. On Nov. 11 please take the time to pay your respects to those who gave their lives to ensure a better life for future generations, and for those brave Canadians who put their lives on the line every day for the benefit of all of us.