Remembrance Day – We owe them a great deal

Remembrance Day – We owe them a great deal

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Remembrance Day-1We wonder how many men and women would enlist if a third world war broke out today.

It’s a scary thought, but not unfathomable considering the disturbing military conflicts taking place.

We know this has been asked a million times but . . . why can’t mankind get along? Unfortunately, such a simple question is always burdened with a complex answer.

Some people’s hunger for power and domination is so strong that killing does not register on their conscience.

Most of us can’t imagine going off to war and leaving family behind. Most of us wouldn’t do it.

But thousands did in the two world wars. They left their parents, wives and children to fight against tyranny and oppression. They risked everything to ensure the freedom of future generations – millions of people they didn’t even know, millions who weren’t even born yet.

It was an incredibly brave and unselfish act. Those who were lucky to return from those hellish conflicts ended up in their own nightmare back home. Many came back with missing limbs and post-traumatic stress disorder. This disorder continues to affect today’s veterans, many whose lives have been destroyed.

Every November 11 during the one minute of silence I envision a young soldier huddled in a muddy trench while the booming of gunfire erupts and illuminates the night sky. The soldier clutches his rifle in one hand and a small photo in the other. The photo depicts a woman and a child.

The soldier holds the photo to his chest and starts to cry, fearing that he will never see his wife and daughter again.

The rain streams down his face and totally obscures his tears. Laying at his feet are the lifeless bodies of several comrades who had joked with him the previous night. They had wives and children too.

The vision fades with the continuation of the last post.

We owe these fallen soldiers a great deal because literally they gave their freedom to us. So the least we can do is remember them. The least we can do is teach our children about the sacrifices they made. The least we can do is support the Royal Canadian Legion in its mandate to support veterans, particularly those who need our help.

Lest we forget.

Lyonel Doherty, editor

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