"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 28 October 2008

Remembrance Day

I seldom start a fight. I generally prefer not to tussle with someone several generations removed from myself. The match is uneven. Oddly enough, though, the difference is not always appreciated.

I was recently solicited to purchase advertising to promote Remembrance Day. I did not respond. On a second approach I refused the offer and proffered an explanation. Remembrance Day is sacred to the memory of those who died in service to their country. I consider its use to promote business, politics or any other endeavour inappropriate.

The solicitation was to all members of council. I circulated my response to colleagues. I expected that to be the end of the matter. My respondent however was apparently not satisfied to let it rest. She circulated my response and hers to several individuals. She informed me she had met with Aurora Legion's executive. In return for free advertising, they supported her enterprise. She is a member of the Legion and her grandfather was a veteran.

Subsequently I received copies of other emails. Freedom to express an opinion was acknowledged but mine was deemed to be negative, disrespectful of the debt owed to veterans and lacking in progressive thinking and positive change.

From my perspective, some things cannot change. History can be enlightened. It cannot be changed.

Remembrance Day commemorates the casualties of war, not the survivors. It calls upon us to contemplate lives cruelly cut short before they had a chance to begin. They died thousands of miles from home and family in circumstances too terrible to imagine. Allied Cemeteries in foreign lands have row upon row of gravestones bearing thousands of names, ranks and numbers. But for many there are no resting places. At War Memorials throughout the world people gather to remember, relive their sorrow and loss and offer a prayer that the carnage and waste may never be repeated.

The Mayor will lay a wreath on the Cenotaph to pay respect on behalf of all the people. Representatives of other levels of government will do the same. In the past, a mother would be chosen to personally represent families of those who never came home.

The awful and continuing reality of their sacrifice should not be used to promote business, politics or any other mundane endeavor. Such change is neither positive nor progressive. It is crass opportunism, materialism in the extreme and degrading to their memory.

Directly “From Falling Hands” I claim the right to say so. Loud and strong.


Anonymous said...

"I seldom start a fight" ?
Wow, I guess you do have a sense of humor, eh!

Anonymous said...

I'm guessing that Sher St Kitts is the promoter of this dubious enterprise. Am I correct?