Happy Remembrance Day, everyone!
Today is the day we remember and silently give thanks to the (mostly) men and women who willingly gave their lives to fight for freedom. Such a sacrifice must not be disregarded.
According to CBC News (http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2010/11/11/remembrance-day-ceremonies.html), this November 11th marked the first time there were no surviving World War I veterans.
It was also a first for Gov. Gen. David Johnston to preside over a Remembrance Day ceremony in Ottawa, which drew over 30,000 people. Johnston is the Armed Forces' new commander-in-chief.
Ceremonies were held throughout Canada as well as abroad.
At the cenotaph at Kandahar Airfield, relatives of fallen soldiers were among more than 200 people who gathered to pay their respects.
Wreaths were placed and flags lowered to half-mast to honour the 152 Canadians killed in Afghanistan since 2002.
The commander of the Canadian mission in Kandahar, Brig.-Gen. Dean Milner told the crowd it is worth recalling that the soldiers being honoured died for the "common cause of freedom and human decency."
"It is important that we take the time to mark this day, especially here in Afghanistan," Milner said. "[It is] a place which is so close to the sacrifices made by the brave men and women who fought in this theatre"
Milner's colleague, Lt.-Col. Doug Claggett, welcomed the families to the base.
"It's obviously hard for them, but the fact is they are able to come over here and meet the serving soldiers," said the chief of staff of Canada's Task Force Afghanistan. "This is our way to extend our thanks to their sacrifice"
Prime Minister Stephen Harper marked Remembrance Day in Seoul, Korea, where he is attending the G20 summit. He placed a wreath at the Korean War Memorial to pay respect to the 516 Canadian soldiers who lost their lives between 1950 to 1953.
"Today we honour and remember those members of the Canadian Forces who fought in one of the toughest wars in our history, to defend South Korea against an oppressive communist invader," Harper said in a statement. "Our forces fought bravely alongside our allies to defend South Korea and played a pivotal part in ending the hostilities"
Whether or not someone supports war is irrelevant. We, as Canadians, all value and cherish peace, freedom and democracy.
For people who want to replace the red poppies with white ones, I say shame on you for wanting to end an age-long tradition. Remembrance Day honours the war dead - those who gave their lives of their own volition for freedom and justice - not the act of war itself. There is nothing wrong with honouring bravery and valour!
As for Premier Dalton McGuinty whose priorities were introducing HST and creating then cancelling a flawed eco tax over making Remembrance Day a statutory holiday in Ontario? Don't get me started. I expect this situation to occur in Quebec not in Ontario; however, I will refrain from going off on a rant about our incompotent weasel of a premier.
After all, my blog is about the courageous soldiers not the anything but brave McGuinty.
Thank you, dear soliders! We will never forget!