What is a soldier? Why do we wear poppies to remember them?
War is the most intense of all the human experiences. The experience of war Canadians have is usually hearing about someone else’s first hand tales of conflicts they have witnessed. If that person who tells us what war is like, is also someone we care about, then we too can say war has touched us. I’ve heard plenty of war stories, from all sides, civilian and military. Sometimes there is an inclination to blame the military for the chaos of war. But history forces peoples actions in war. For the uniformed, circumstances are such so that there is no other choice but to fight. Which brings us to remembrance day. To mark and honour the sacrifices and suffering of soldiers. Libraries have filled full of books about the events and people that have been part of defending democracy. Defending freedom and rights has been the army’s job since it came into existence. And it is the soldier that has been given the duty to step up to the plate and get the job done. Given Canada’s record, we should feel especially proud of what our own soldiers have accomplished. Anyone with a high school education can name at least one battle but for which the Canadian Army was there to protect justice for the world . It doesn’t bear thinking what kind of a world there would be without our own soldiers. They have kicked the butts of history’s bad guys. They still do.
Out there, with mud on their boots.
That’s a soldier. As a writer, it would be silly to really go into detailed depth about individual stories, because there is no end to them ( my family helped kick Rommel’s troops out of Africa . I would have liked to sit down and write about their own experience of world war two. But the subject is bigger than their particular story…) .
So we set aside a day to reflect on all the soldiers.
With their humble uniform there goes a noble spirit. An individual spirit and a greater belief of shared ideals between generations we must remember. Canadian values. As both an immigrant as well as a Roman Catholic, I know for fact that were it not for the men and women at Vimy, I might not even feel free to express my own words. There’s something true about the cliche that we wouldn’t be here without the ones who died, and it frustrates me I can’t describe it better. So I’ll just wear a poppy instead.
The poppie is a sincere gesture on the behalf of the dead. It still means something.
Remember those who you know have been affected by war.
Remembrance Day 2012
Brampton , ont
Stephen Nelson , a proud Canadian