It is a very human problem. No other species on the planet has taken killing to the levels that humans have.
Wars have been fought in the name of power. Wars have been fought in the name of religion. Warriors have fought for peace.
Wars have taken millions of lives over the centuries. Wars have taken combatants and innocents alike.
World War I was once heralded to be “the war that ends all wars.”
How wrong were they when they said that?
Barely two decades after the end of the first World War, World War II began.
After World War II was Korea, then Vietnam. The first Gulf War occurred while I was a youth. The second one began as I was a young adult. Then, the war on terror began.
Through each and every successive conflict, the weapons became more brutal, capable of more wholesale killing.
This year, November 11th marks the 100th anniversary since the guns fell silent in Europe at the end of World War I.
Remembrance Day is not a holiday to celebrate, but to mourn. It is a day to remember the fallen. It is a day to reach out to those who came home, but never completely. It is a day to say “thank-you for your service” to the men and women in uniform.
I have never seen war in a foreign land. I have never seen war because tough men and women stand up for me and all Canadians, willing to take the fight to those who would do us harm. They do so prepared to die so we can have our freedom.
Remembrance Day does not glorify war. If anything it should have the opposite effect. It should repulse us. It should be a history we remember, not to glorify, but to learn.
I am not anti-war. I am against needless war. I am against the development of weapons that can render our world inhabitable thousands of times over.
Conflicts arise in the world. Pure evil can take power and cause undue pain and hardship. Hitler’s rise to power and his goal of creating a master race sends chills down my spine. That is the type of evil and tyranny that we must stand vigil against. Thanks to one man’s narcissistic ego trip, millions died in battle. Millions were tortured, and killed.
Because brave men and women fought him on his own turf, our land was secured.
No, Remembrance Day is not something to celebrate. It is something to be thankful for. It is a day to honour the past, so that we may learn from it and not repeat the mistakes. It is a day where we can be thankful for the men and women who go to war to protect us at home.
To all members of Canada’s armed forces, I say “Thank you.”