Sunday, November 07, 2010

They Didn't Know - Thoughts for Remembrance Day

It's Veterans' week and Remembrance Day is next Thursday. As usual, I'll attend the ceremonies at the local cenotaph. It's one small simple way to show some respect to all Canadian veterans. Perhaps some of the words below are another way of paying my respects.

In 1914, when World War I began, Canada had a population of 7,879,000. A total of 619,000 Canadians joined the armed forces. Over 60,000 of them died.

They didn't know where they would be fighting, that was confidential.

They didn't know that trench warfare could mean seeing your best friend blown up beside you and then staying in that muddy hole with the dead body for a week.

They didn't know that some generals would see the lower ranks as cannon fodder.

They didn't know that they would receive defective guns that could kill them and not the enemy

They didn't know that their family could be charged for the blanket used to bury them.

At the start of World War II, Canada had a population of 11,267,000 and 1.1 million Canadians joined the armed forces during the course of the war. Over 45,000 of them were killed and 54,600 were wounded.

They didn't know that they too, could expendable.

They didn't know that they could end up in a prisoner of war camp in the Pacific, or in a concentration camp in Germany.

In the Korean conflict, 416 Canadians were killed.

They didn't know that the Canadian government would refuse to acknowledge their contribution or provide them with veterans benefits, for years.

121 Canadian peacekeepers have been killed while on duty.

They didn't know that so many people would forget about them.

To date 152 Canadian soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan.

They didn't know that it would be impossible to recognize the enemy.

So many soldiers have died and many more have been wounded and yet, our government does not provide today's wounded veterans with the long-term support they need. I am ashamed.

I'm also disgusted that I have not received any response to my letter about this issue from my Member of Parliament. I hope that the pressure being applied by veteran's groups and others will eventually result in a better outcome.

What will you do on November 11th?


Anonymous said...

Awesome. Someone who can say it like it is. No one should ever take their freedom for granted, and no one should folishly roll over and give away what so many others died to protect.
Our supposed Government is run by a bunch of jellyfish who are more concerned about their own monstrous salaries and pensions, which they get for doing NOTHING, than they are about those who've given and lost EVERYTHING.

Susan said...

For once, I don't have to work at the time of the Remembrance Day ceremony. I plan to be at the cenotaph, though possibly not the same one you'll be at. Veterans need to know that people remember their sacrifice and care about their present.

Pat Hollett said...

It just goes to show how little human life is valued. To serve our country and make the ultimate sacrifice should be recognized as how it affects their families in the years that follow. I'm ashamed that our Government sends our countrymen into wars that really have nothing to do with us, except that we're peacekeepers in most cases. It's horrendous that peacekeepers can lose their lives trying to instill peace in a war torn country. I completely agree with you and wish I were more like you and although I don't personally know any soldiers, every Canadian should be writing to the government to change things. I am in awe of your dedication to change things Diane. Thank you, from a fellow Canadian. :)