I wanted to write a blog post about Remembrance Day but I struggled. What can you say that hasn't already been said?
On November 11th, most of us are respectful.
I watched a group of construction workers stop work and bow their heads on the bridge at 11 am today. I am not going to lie, it was one of those moments that you see out of the blue, that touches you.
We wear poppies and we make donations. My street was packed today as hundreds attended a ceremony to honour our vets.
Similar scenes took place around the province, and the country.
But what about the rest of the year? Do we honour our vets, and their sacrifices, when we decide to not bother heading to the polls on Election Day? Or when we watch our oceans slowly die? What about when we watch children go to bed cold or hungry?
Leslie Nielson does a Remembrance Day piece that is played on the radio each year (that I can't find due to copyright issues) and there is a line that always resonates with me and it goes something like this...
'Why did you give up so easily the things that I was willing to die to protect?'
Every day we should be celebrating the freedoms that we have. We should be involved enough in our communities and our political processes to ensure our government doesn't bend those freedoms. Or remove them completely in the name of keeping us safe or knowing what we need better than we do. We should be making decisions that protect this beautiful country, and everyone in it. Because, despite its issues, we are graced to be living here.
More recently in Canada we have forgotten something even more important than appreciation of what we have, we have forgotten to look after the very people who gave us these gifts. Our veterans themselves. They suffer mental and physical scars that most of us are lucky enough to never have to understand. And there is no help.
They are still fighting. Except now its for the protection and the care that they deserve for protecting and caring for us.
I wanted to address this issue myself, especially in the wake of some politicians fighting to keep their own pensions and benefits despite breaking legal and moral laws. But I thought of something I saw this past week and decided to defer to Rick Mercer, who addresses this issue better (and let's be honest, in fewer words...) than I ever could.
So I want to share Ricks Rant from November 5th, 2013 courtesy of 'The Rick Mercer Report'. I think it's important to hear.
I hope it serves to remind all of us, myself included, to remember the gifts we've been given and the men and women who made the sacrifices to give them to us.
Every day and in everything we do. Not just once a year.
Ricks Rant-Veterans' Pensions