It is our time to remember.
And in a world which is increasingly turning to tribal politics, in a world where right-wing, us versus them populism is growing at a frightening pace. In a world where we struggle for decency and good will, it is indeed time to remember.
It was a cold morning . Rain, wind and sleet battered the troops on April 9, 1917 . Four divisions of the Canadian Expeditionary Force were fighting together for the first time. They stormed a ridge in northern France. It was a position others had tried but failed to take.
It took 3 days of bloodshed before the brave Canadians could claim victory and seize Vimy Ridge.
The cost was high.
3,598 Canadians were killed and 7000 wounded in that one battle.
In World War I, the “War to End All Wars”, 68 thousand Canadians died. In World War II , 47 thousand were killed.
Hundreds more have perished on other far off fields in places such as Korea and Afghanistan.
These men and women were fighting for our way of life. They believed in democracy and a better future.
Today, the legacy and sacrifice of our war dead and those of other countries is under threat.
Political discourse has deteriorated when anyone who disagrees is an enemy. Charges of fake news threaten a free press and
In the United States a sitting president bullies journalists and calls them liars.
And don’t be so smug to think that Canada and Canadians cannot be affected by the venom.
Now the American midterms, were a great victory for the Democrats. But I fear the situation will get bad . Trump is going to war.
But the elections also showed that many Americans are just retreating into their entrenched positions. The support for Trump and his political of chaos and hate remains high. American voters had no excuses this time.
And my fear is that despite a Democratic House, things will get worse and quickly.
So yes, we must remember. We must remember the blood that was shed for freedom of speech , truth , democracy and everything else we hold dear.
In these times of uncertainty close to home and everywhere , Remembrance Day indeed is more important than ever.
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place: and in the sky
The larks still bravely singing fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the dead: Short days ago,
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved: and now we lie
In Flanders fields!
Take up our quarrel with the foe
To you, from failing hands, we throw
The torch: be yours to hold it high
If ye break faith with us who die,
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields