While looking for a place to have dinner in Oromocto, New Brunswick, I succeeded in getting myself caught in one of those goofy roundabouts that are supposed to slow down traffic. I was able to prove that it will often slow down traffic that is also coming in the wrong direction. A kind community resident guided me out. When I professed my profuse embarrassment, he remarked that it was ok and just to drive safely.
In turning down a few more streets I started to try to familiarize myself with this close-knit community located just outside of Fredericton, and a short throw to Canadian Forces Base Gagetown. One of the parks I drove by was called “Family Park”. This provoked my thinking into how close these communities can be. November 11 reminds us that many lost their lives in the battles for freedom.
Recently with Canada seeing so many not return to their families in the Afghan mission, I was reminded of some of the horrendous news film showing grieving families as they would receive their loved ones off of Forces piloted planes. In many or most instances these families were often comforted by comrades of the fallen soldiers. Many who have walked the front lines will look out for each other and develop that inspiring second family relationship.
Military unity should be universal and extend beyond the boundaries of our uniformed soldiers and civilian workers who also collect pay from the Department of National Defence. Elected officials and all citizens should unite more behind our forces. It is not just about having top-notch equipment on the front lines. It should be about more respect and acknowledgment of the sacrifices made.
Even a few people who use their free expression to voice often disparaging remarks at soldiers need to wake up. If it were not for the people who fought those wars and took those hits, they would be absent of the right to the free expression which they are probably taken for granted. I am starting to think that every new vehicle in Canada should come with a Support the Troops Ribbon. I sure as hell keep meaning to get one.
Remembrance Day is all well and good. The intention is there. However one day a year should not be the single day that people recognize the sacrifices of our military.
Each time a person expresses a personal opinion. Every time a writer pens a potentially controversial point. Every time an action gives way to exercising a personal freedom.
It should be an expression of thanks for the freedom we have.