The U.S. Election and Remembrance Day
It is certainly no secret who won the U.S. Federal Election. It has been streamed live as if it literally were the end of the world. The aliens have landed and people are dying by the millions each day. The media coverage is relentless.
This event, though certainly important, is overshadowing the one day each year that we as a community of veterans get to come together and grieve, reminisce, swap “manly” stories and gain the attention of our nations. Whether you’re in Canada or the U.S. tomorrow is a day of remembrance. It is a day where most people take at least moment out of their day to recognize the great loss our two nations have seen since the Great War. No matter who you are, you have a connection in some way, to someone who has given their life in the service of our great countries. Be it in the trenches and hillsides of the Battle of Vimy (the 100th anniversary of which is coming up April 2017), the beaches of Normandy on D-Day, the Korean War (Battle of Kapyong or Bloody Ridge) The White School House (Canadians in Afghanistan – Click here for more info on it) or The Battle of Fallujah (US Marines in Iraq – Click here for more info on it), thousands of young men and women gave their lives to make way for a better future. The politics behind these wars is utterly irrelevant on days like this. Remembrance Day or Veterans Day, its a time for mourning and remembrance. Politics and egos have no place on this day.
The scars of war run deep for many. Some, less effected than others carry on and lead a life that is considered “normal” by the civilian standard. Most veterans however, will always struggle to some degree. One of the biggest struggles is watching the nation you fought so hard to preserve its rights and freedoms be eroded, ridiculed and not understood. Seeing members of the armed forces being disrespected and even left homeless. The social justice warriors who still live in their mothers basement really “grind your gears” because they have no idea what its like. Not able to understand how lucky we all are to live in North America (yes, we have our issues, but holy fuck people, we are living the dream compared to the rest of the world).
So let’s put our political differences aside. Let us all agree that war is hell and it is truly the soldier that wishes for peace more than anyone else. Let us all understand that war changes people and each soldier does his or her duty to the best of their ability. Understand that at the end of the day we are all human and coming together for one day of the year without the distractions of everyday life and U.S. Federal Elections, to grieve the dead. The lost. The injured. The forgotten.
Don’t let generations of our own men and women be forgotten in history. For the part they played in shaping the world today can not be understated. The world would have been a very different place if Hitler won the war. If North Korea ruled all of Korea. If Russia was still the U.S.S.R. If Afghanistan hadn’t made huge steps toward a modern and inclusive society that allows women to be educated and be seen in public (yes, there is a lot of work yet to do). If Iraq was left to its own devices to fend off Daesh and were allowed to expand undeterred anywhere in the world.
Evil exists in this world. Don’t you ever forget that. Generations of men and women have been willing to give their lives to keep that evil away from our shores. Nothing is perfect and it hasn’t all worked out perfectly. Turns out we are all human.
But here we are, back to my original point, take the time to stop and remember. Take the time to ignore politics for a day. Remember those who gave their lives to create a better world for you (whether you believe they were successful or not, their intent was noble). Go to a Remembrance Day or Veterans Day ceremony and never forget the dead because they never forgot about the reason they fought…you.
For those down range, we salute you. Be safe. Stay frosty.