Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Remembrance Day 2014: And My Promise to the Dead
It's going to be a very emotional Remembrance Day in Canada, especially at the National War Memorial.
For the reasons we all know, for the blood spilled.
And at the stroke of eleven I will stop whatever I'm doing, and remember those who gave their lives, and honour our veterans.
But for the first time ever, I won't even try to watch the always moving ceremony at the National War Memorial.
Because at this point in my life, in this broken country, I could not stand to see Stephen Harper exploit such a sacred occasion.
Or listen to his hollow words.
YOU CAN BET our prime minister will proudly stoke the fires of Canadian military achievement when he speaks during Remembrance Day ceremonies this year.
And for every one of his platitudes about Canada being a great military nation, there will be a Canadian veteran long since abandoned by Stephen Harper’s failed government policies.
For no Canadian leader has ever exploited the military so much for crass political purposes, while betraying our veterans so miserably.
And to see him at a ceremony to honour those who died to protect our freedoms, the ones he's doing all he can to destroy, would be more than I could bear. At this point in my life, in his filthy Harperland.
Instead I'll remember my noble grandfather who taught me to remember those who died...
And those who survived the horror.
But also taught me never to glorify war. And to hate strutting little fascists like Stephen Harper and his Con gang.
And although I'll be sorry to miss the ceremony at the National War Memorial, my consolation is that this past summer I got a jump on Remembrance Day.
By spending an afternoon tending to the graves of Canadian flyers, buried in the grounds of this ruined Scottish abbey...
Who receive few visitors but lie in peace in that beautiful quiet place.
Canadians from all over our country, who learned to fly bombers at a nearby RAF base, and lost their lives in the wild North Sea nearby.
Or in the unforgiving highlands...
And I'm always struck by how young so many of them were...
And how much we owe them for sacrificing their lives, when they had so much left to live.
And this summer when I knelt before them pulling the odd weed from their well tended graves, I also felt like I owed them something else.
A country free and decent and truly Canadian so their deaths will not have been in vain.
Because we're not living in one now.
Which is why I will be supporting our veterans in the next election campaign as they battle the ghastly Con regime.
We will remember. And this is my promise to the dead:
We will not surrender. Ever.
Until this country is free and decent.
And Canada again...
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