Sunday, November 11, 2007
Remembrance Day and the Other Victims of War
A Canadian soldier crawls to safety after being wounded by a Taliban shell.
In Kandahar families visit the place where their loved ones died.
And all across the country the bagpipes wail.
But how do we honour the dead...and not glorify war?
How do we remember that for every dead hero...there are many others who died but are still alive?
Living with nightmares.
Hundreds of Canadian soldiers returning from Afghanistan are suffering from a range of mental-health problems linked to their deployment, according to new data.
About 28 per cent of the 2,700 Canadian Forces soldiers who were screened after serving in the war-torn country were found to have symptoms of one or more mental-health problems, including depression, panic disorders and suicidal tendencies
Like Baby Bamm Bamm.
Over and over, Reyes screams "Mom!" at the top of his lungs. He asks for milk, and he wears a diaper. He plays with plastic figurines of such characters as Donatello from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the Undertaker from WWE. He's 25 years old and needs his mother now as much as he did as a young boy growing up on the Bronx streets, maybe more. She's begun to call him "Baby Bamm Bamm"—two years ago, his comrades called him Red Dog.
How do we remember Red Dog? When his country has already forgotten him.
How do we remember that many battles don't need to be fought?
Take it from me and the fighting Frasers. Honour our war dead. Salute the brave. Weep for the young lives lost.
But don't forget all those other victims.
And if you're young and idealistic, or naive or stupid.
Always remember that war is hell.
No matter what they tell you...