"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

A False Premise

It 's still November...the month formerly set aside to pray for the holy souls in purgatory paying for their sins in life.  It  wasn't hell. There could be no escape from hell.  Purgatory was temporary hell.

I was still practicing my faith when I came to Aurora. I tried to attend mass daily in November.
Until  one day the parish priest made a comment about people attending  mass for reasons other than.

That was a jolt into reality. An ice bucket if you like.

Veterans Affairs Minister is in trouble with Vets for several reasons. Most recent being $1.7 billion  unspent funds  being returned to Treasury.

At the same time an announcement is made of millions available for mental health treatment for veterans returning from Afghanistan.

All matters faithfully recorded by the media.

Bad news for Veterans . Good News for media.

On the eve of Remembrance Day, CBC presented an hour long feature of the Silver Cross Mother to follow the Prime Minister laying a wreath at the National Monument.

No reference was made to a partner or sibling throughout the hour. The mother was alone in grief.

Her son had stepped on an explosive device . His broken body brought home to die in hospital.

Mother visits his grave daily.  They talk . Son reassures his mother.

Her home is a shrine. His uniform jacket is displayed on a manikin with rows of  medals on display.

Pristine army boots sit side by side ,laces loose ,waiting.

A snapshot of a seven year old  wearing a forage cap and carrying a stick for a rifle told of  his lifelong ambition to be a soldier.

A saxophone and guitar stood upright on  stands waiting to be picked up and played.

Mother told how he liked her to accompany him  on piano.

The  massive gravestone of black marble bespoke affluence. The home was comfortable. Mother  stylishly dressed.

But the story  was the  loss of everything in life that meant anything to her.

Denying the loss is the only way to cope.

The pain is too great.

No reason presents.

Why did he die so terribly? What purpose was served?

Canada is not at war. The country is not under attack.

His friends are still around, carrying on with their lives.

No amount of mental health services will rationalize, after the fact, a voluntary decision to risk one's life in such a fashion, in the absence of  real and meaningful cause.

A cause that makes sense in the face of the  terrible reality of his terrible death.

Young men who leave home and families behind , hearts and minds filled with noble purpose and just cause, can never be expected to come to terms with the reality of  being blown to pieces  or seeing friends blown to pieces, by stepping on an explosive device ,hidden in the sand  by the people they came to help.

There is simply no therapy that can make sense of that.


Anonymous said...

The current gov't really really likes to talk war and to send troops off in our name. They have completely screwed up on how to deal with these " warriors " of ours when it comes to the consequences on them and their families after the cameras are turned off,
I think this is going to cost them votes.
Certainly mine has been lost to them.

Anonymous said...

Present Veterans Affairs Minister Fantino, if that's what he is entitled to call himself, instead of doing nothing all day, should be required to put in a full shift daily standing at attention at the National War Memorial.

He might find himself the target of an errant pigeon.

That might be totally appropriate.

Anonymous said...

I think it might be $11 Billion in unspent funds

Anonymous said...

15:48 While I do not disagree with you, it is worth mentioning that he has been on the public payroll for at least 40 years. He has probably received more generous severances than any other sitting member.

Since he does not need the job and since we don't want to see his mug ever again on TV, I think it better he quit and collect one more generous severance.

Anonymous said...

November truly is a rotten month.
I have some mending to do & the TV is set to tape. It may be possible to discontinue watching council meetings. It won't be the same without you.

Anonymous said...

I was one of those who encouraged you to attend the photo ops for projects decided by council. Tonight I would go the other way and urge you to avoid the council meeting tonight.
Just a suggestion

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I will check on the tube to see which guys have gone for stashes. Then out of there.

Anonymous said...

Lots of topics out there for you to pursue at your leisure,
Which street has the better as opposed to most expensive lighting ?
That's just for starters.

Anonymous said...

TDSB...That could be a whole new blog on its own.

Anonymous said...

He is entitled to call himself Veterans Affairs Minister because that is what he is. Why do you have take away someone's title because you do not like them?

Years ago, my father worked for a DVA Hospital in London, Ontario. Westminster Hospital was a huge complex in south London. It contained a number of buildings - a large "main" hospital building, a large building for vet's that were diagnosed with "shell shock" or similar mental issues (called the PI "phyc institute" and a large complex of smaller buildings that vets went to in order to live out their final days (Western Counties Wing). They also had a golf course, bowling alleys, swimming pools, etc. This was southern Ontario's vet hospital, similar to Sunnybrook in Toronto.

I remember going to work with him on weekends and I could not get around how much money had been spent on the care of these guys. This was like a small Town. In the PI, there were fenced in balconies at the ends of the building - too many of these patients tried to jump. At the time, the vets of WW I were approaching their 80s. They were becoming the minority. Vets of WWII were the majority. I would talk to some of them, some were okay to tell a stranger about their exploits overseas - they would spin stories. Others did not want to talk about at all.

Eventually, the population of Westminster vets declined to the point that DVA divested in the facilities. It was sold to the province and today in the site of London's renewed Victoria Hospital. The old Victoria, which was open for 20 years or so after the Westminster acquisition, was closed down. Some of the old DVA buildings still exist. But the vets are gone for the most part - a small group are left.

I am proud that this country spent an enormous amount of money to care for these vets. DVA needs to open the history books on how they were cared for then.

Anonymous said...

"He is entitled to call himself Veterans Affairs Minister because that is what he is. Why do you have take away someone's title because you do not like them?"

Because, as has been exhibited previously, 15:48 is petty and puerile...and not alone.