|Thursday, 11 November 2004 00:00|
I was raised in a military family. My father was a pilot in the RCAF, later known as CAF or the Canadian Armed Forces and I grew up with a clear understanding of the meaning of Remembrance Day. Both of my parents immigrated to Canada after WW2, having met and married in England while they both served in the British Forces. Mom served in the WAF and Dad was a fighter pilot.
Every Remembrance Day that I can remember my father would march with fellow veterans in the parade held by various legions in whatever town or city he lived in. He did so to honour his many comrades who had fallen and he felt it was a privilege for him to have survived the war. Dad was just eighteen years old when he enlisted in the Royal Air Force and he was shipped to Canada to train for his profession. He lost so many friends, saw so many soldiers die for their country and yet never spoke about it. I found his logbooks after he died and after reading them, I cannot imagine the horrors that he witnessed before he was even 21 years old. He carried those memories with him everytime he marched in the parade and up until he the day he died in May of 2001.
I don't agree with war and the atrocities that accompany it and I am saddened everytime I hear about another young soldier dying however I admire their courage. Most of the men and women that go to war do so out of duty and their belief that their leaders know what they are doing. I long for the day when man realizes that war isn't the solution for a peaceful existence, when we can all live together on this planet in unity and harmony. Until that day arrives, I won't forget those who have given their lives in an attempt to resolve the mess we have created. Their bravery and their loyalty is commendable and they deserve the recognition we give them on this day, regardless of our personal feelings about why war happened.