November 11, 1918 – 11AM, The Treaty of Versailles ended The Great War. In Flanders and Vimy, poppies everywhere, crosses everywhere. That greatest generation – went before us – fought, died, wounded, scarred, sacrificed so much. Ending wars, avoiding wars – hasn’t insulated us. Will we ever understand why it never ends?
Canadian forces work in peace time. They search, they rescue. Ready to go, ready to fight when their country calls them to serve. Canadian men and women, gone to foreign shores, shoulder to shoulder with our allies to fight their enemies, so much blood spilled, but craziness of war doesn’t end no matter how many sons and daughters have been lost.
Every year, in arts, science and communications – getting ever better at scaling mountains of ignorance with new crescendos of tolerance, understanding and improving our human condition. Yet headlines reflect violence, hatred, racism, genocide and ancient religious conflicts are alive. And thriving.
I missed out on war, on serving, on battling. Most Canadian baby-boomers did. Our American friends might have missed it too, but they had Vietnam. Lucky us. Lucky Canadians. Our children, our grandchildren – missing it too. Peace time. Peace keepers. In Ottawa we have a peace tower. We have peace bridges, peace parks. And peace treaties.
Canada hasn’t been attacked. We’ve not had to fight for ourselves, we’ve fought for others, for freedom – to achieve, preserve and protect the peace.
Canadians have done so much peace-keeping, but is there more peace?
We live freedom.
So many have died so that statement can be true.
Observe today, remember them, all of them – those who’ve fought for us. Salute them.
Lest we ever forget.
written / published from Calgary, AB
morning walk: 6C/42F, a few clouds, a few stars – empty streets, snow melting, air SO fresh; Gusta back to normal sniff-mode, she never met a smell she didn’t like …