Thursday, November 11, 2010

Remembrance Day – November 11, 2010 – Why?

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Today’s Blog Post
Remembrance Day – November 11, 2010 – Why?

Today we take time to remember all the men and women that gave their lives in two major World Wars in the last Century – World War I and World War II… plus the Korean War and the present skirmishes in the middle east area.

This perspective is my own. Born in April 1944, most of my life has been affected by War. Grandparents, Parents, Friends, and now children of our friends are being touched by the anger and the hatred somewhere, at sometime.

Classically our attention on a Remembrance Day was to be focused on the WWs only. The one statement made of the First World War was that it was a “War to end all Wars”, which we can clearly see that this hasn’t happened. Men and women have been dieing for over one hundred years now – all in conflicts that are not our own.

That may sound negative… but in reality… these are wars that Canada joined into by giving both young and old men to fight for causes that were not our own. They became our own once we entered the battle.

In the First World War combat we as Canadians became involved with our “homeland” (for many back then), being as the British Isles were involved. We were called upon to support the cause that they were facing with Germany.

In the Second World War combat we as Canadians again became involved when pressured by the “homeland” again. By this time, from what I have studied, more of Europe was now “homeland” than before. This conflict was now encompassing far more of our population than just those of British decent. It was far bigger as Hitler and his forces were tearing the fabric of the Europe to pieces.

But the Second World War was not just with our European ancestors – it was also concerning the Asian folk that were being invaded by the Japanese.

Most of Canada could not yet call the Asian conflict a problem with the “homeland” folk at that time. We felt differently about those people then. In fact it was so different that our authorities rounded up all Japanese in certain areas and placed them in concentration camps in Canada… just because they were Japanese. Then we sent our soldiers.

Later in my life I stood in Hong Kong at the place where the whole troop of Winnipeg Grenadiers were slaughtered by the invading Japanese soldiers. Then I walked in and around the Prisoners of War Camps in Hong Kong where Canadians suffered dearly from nightmarish treatment by the Japanese soldiers.

Now very late in my life my neighbours, two doors down from us, have lost their son in Afghanistan. I see again the horrors of a family living through the nightmares of an empty seat at the table… and not being able to deal with it.

Remembrance Day for me is not just a Poppy on my lapel, not just a day to stand beside a War Memorial, or to watch it on TV… and try to keep my thoughts on men that died in far away places. For me it is to think deeply about that shaded past and present for all of us and remember that none of it had to happen – but because of very evil men… it did.

Once a year I raise my thoughts to the outrage that I feel for the very stupid and very cowardly men all around the world that forced young men and women to come and fight horrible battles in places that they couldn’t even pronounce – and knew nothing of the year before they died.

I remember not only Canadian Soldiers that died. I remember the German Soldiers, the Russian Soldiers, The Italian and Spanish Soldiers and the Japanese Soldiers that died on the other side as well.

Then I can’t help but ask. WHY? Why was it allowed to happen? Why were these evil people driven so hard to do what they did – to hate others and invade – then kill so many? Who caused this? Who was at fault? Were we?

But with that question I ask more… as more come to mind.

Yesterday I spoke with my friend the tailor at the Mall. He and I talked about the War in Afghanistan. That is where he comes from. That is where his family lives. He doesn’t know what to say about his country men that are killing Canadians and Americans.

Today I wonder how he is feeling about his countrymen that are being killed in each skirmish as well.

He is an Afghani Canadian. And together we will remember…

God help us all.

Yes I remember... but perhaps for different reasons than you do.

~ Murray Lincoln ~

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