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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Remembrance Day

We have privileged lives in Canada and the United States. Yes, there are varying degrees of privilege, but the freedoms we all enjoy before the law are greater than any the world has known before. Even now, most of the rest of the world does not enjoy the rights, the legal protections, the safety that we have. We don't have them by accident. It took thousands of years of advancing ideas to get where we are, and over those thousands of years, it took millions upon millions of lives. Some fighting for oppressors, and ultimately for the most part, victories went to the warriors who fought to protect freedom from those who would take humanity's basic rights away.

Hitler was not defeated by pacifism, Imperial Japan did not change into the democratic nation it is now through rational discourse. It took the lives of thousands upon thousands of brave soldiers to end those tyrannies. We face enormous threats to our liberties today, and there are far too many in our society who would simply let our freedoms erode so as to be thought of as "peaceful." That's happened before, and since the lessons of history are so rarely heeded, it will likely happen again. As always,when the choice becomes irrevocable,  it will come down to men and women in the armed services to be the final line between freedom and slavery. We should remember that and be grateful to them. 

and from Rick McGinnis:
...There are always classes of schoolchildren at the cenotaph. I can't help but wonder what they're thinking, and how much they really know about the wars being remembered. As the son of a veteran, growing up with Rat Patrol and Hogan's Heroes in after school syndication, I'm part of a generation that still felt the shadow of World War Two amplified by the geopolitical hangover of the Cold War. Perhaps these kids are luckier than we were; I don't get the feeling that 9/11 casts the same shadow over their lives. I hope my anxiety about what sometimes seems like either indifference or amnesia is unfounded, but I have a bad feeling about it all...

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