Take a moment on this Nov. 11
Thursday, Nov 10, 2016 06:00 am
Interesting, isn’t it, that this week the Outlook features stories about Canadian veterans who, over the past century, have often been charged with keeping the peace in nations far from home, and about a Syrian family forced to flee a war-torn nation in search of a new home.
We encourage everyone, as the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month strikes on Friday, to be in place at one of the valley’s Royal Canadian Legion branches to take part in the annual Remembrance Day ceremony.
As time goes on, fewer veterans of the world wars and Korea remain, but they have been replaced by Canadian Forces personnel who have worked around the globe on peacekeeping missions and, more recently, in Afghanistan on a war footing.
So we all have good reason to attend a Remembrance Day ceremony – to honour veterans from Canada’s past and present.
With the world’s current political situation – turmoil everywhere, as always seems to be the situation – there’s little doubt Canadian peacekeeping missions will continue into the future, which will put more Canadians in harm’s way as they try to keep safe citizens in other nations.
One need look no further than the story about the Kahkejian family (page 4) to realize that, just like their hometown being bombed to rubble was the subject of many news cycles, similar incidents will continue around the world.
With mankind in general seemingly unable or unwilling to cease and desist in attacking others for any number of political, religious, ethnic, economic and other reasons, future Canadian peacekeeping missions, or war missions, will almost certainly continue – as will the number of our veterans who keep the peace.
And, while the Canadian Forces are not as vast as those in many nations, there is no question they are respected and admired around the world for their efforts.
Much like our veterans are still the subject of Remembrance ceremonies in Europe due to liberating countries like the Netherlands, our Forces personnel continue to be recognized in modern times.
In recent years, no doubt due to Canadian efforts in Afghanistan, we have noticed Remembrance Day ceremonies in our towns have grown and we congratulate valley residents for setting aside a small portion of a single day within a single year, to honour veterans.
Afghanistan, we feel, once again brought home the message that Canadian Forces personnel are invaluable as a peacekeeping tool. In fighting the Taliban and in supporting Afghan government efforts to protect and police themselves, Canadians have shown they have the expertise to make a difference.
As Canadians, though, our military people have also shown that they are not immune to the vagaries of war and the likelihood of suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Some of our veterans have suffered not only physical injury, but mental injury as well, and their plight must be recognized.
Of course, in the end, while our veterans have stood tall around the world in wearing the Canadian uniform, the reality is that, at any given time, they are truly fighting for the comrades by their side – with international and multinational situations of secondary importance.
Thank you, veterans.