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Monday, 11 November 2013

Remembrance Day

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Remembrance. DayIt seems appropriately gloomy today. Constant light rain is making that snap crackle pop sound you would expect from your rice crispies.

November 11, Remembrance Day. A day to take a moment and remember all of the brave men and woman who fought in our wars. Many lost their lives, and even those who were lucky enough to survive lost a part of themselves and were changed for ever by the horrors they'd witnessed.

In Canada, the red poppy is a symbol of our appreciation for all they gave up, so that we could continue to live free.  Veterans sell these poppies in local stores all through October, using the proceeds to fund veteran programs. 

This year, the university of Ottawa launched a simultaneous campaign, selling white poppies, presumably as a protest against war. They feel that the red poppy promotes and celebrates war, and are selling the white ones in order to promote peace. 

This campaign has been met with outrage from the public, as the red poppy is not a symbol that promotes or celebrates war in any way. It is a symbol of remembrance for all of the lost and tortured souls that gave up so much for us. 

This campaign spits in the faces of those men and women and deserves all of the disgust being thrown at it, but what they don't realize is that they owe a debt of gratitude towards those that afforded them the opportunity to be so ignorant, and express it freely. 

The fact of the matter is that while I wish there were no wars, and that mankind could just find a way to live peacefully accepting and embracing each other's differences, I understand that this just is just wishful thinking...

While the world wars were devastating, they were necessary. What would have happened if the whole planet had just sat back and let Germany do their thing?  Where would we be today? I don't know if my ancestry is pure white, would I even ever have been born?  Would many of my friends? Even yikes, part of my family?  I have an aunt who married a Jewish man, would my cousins have been born?

I buy a red poppy every year, and pin it to the roof of my car. It reminds me of my grandfather, who fought in World War II, and that I'm lucky to be Canadian, and free. 

Take a minute to remember and be thankful today, I know I will. 

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