Never Surrender

This year, in this area of Ontario, there was a fuss going on a couple of weeks prior to Remembrance Day/Veterans Day.  I didn’t want to add it to my one-topic November 11 post, but I do want to rant about it, and find out your opinions, and how wide-spread it is.

Canada’s red poppy, a symbol of Remembrance Day, is under attack from pacifists pretending to be defence analysts.  In the run-up to Nov. 11, activists launched a campaign called, “I Remember For Peace,” that used a white poppy.

White is the color of surrender, and the white poppy was started by pacifist groups in Britain in the 1920s.  It’s been associated with the pacifist cause ever since.

One of the organizers of the campaign, claims that the red poppy worn by generations of Canadians glorifies war, while his poppy is for peace.  In my usual subtle, understated way, I say Bullshit!

The white poppy campaign was started by Ceasefire.ca, a project of the Rideau Institute, a small Ottawa lobby group which claims to be defence analysts, although they are consistently against any and every military purchase.

A newspaper columnist accused the main spokesman of the group of being a pacifist – not that there’s anything wrong with being one, just admit what you are.  He denied being a pacifist, and said that he would have taken up arms in 1939 – not to have resisted the Nazis, but to have fought for the communists in the Spanish Civil War.

He doesn’t like Canada spending on the military, he pushes the white pacifist poppy, and he would have fought for the Communists….what a winner. (Sarcasm strongly implied!)

The group claims to be against war all around the calendar, but the only time we hear from them is right around Remembrance Day.  Apparently the rest of the year is not controversial enough to get them the attention they crave.

They seem too dense and narrow-minded to realize that the red poppy is the sign of peace through the sacrifice of our veterans.  They could have chosen any other symbol of peace, but picked the white poppy with the tiny words, “I Remember For Peace” printed on the center button, because it denigrates the red poppy, and insults the efforts of our veterans.

I’m all for freedom of speech, even freedom of stupid speech, but this insulting behavior is so egregious, that I’m all for some woodshed time for some of these fools.  Has this little side-show reached your area??  Yes/No, where?  What do you feel about this rejection of peaceful, respectful values?  Could a valid point have been made another way, another day?

Remember the Alamo

Remember the Somme!  Remember D-Day!  Remember Korea!  Remember Iraq!  Remember Afghanistan!  And while you’re at it, remember the brave, selfless members of the Armed Forces who have put themselves in harm’s way, in the past and the present, so that you can peacefully celebrate their bravery and sacrifice.

November 11th is almost upon us.  Here in Canada it is known as Remembrance Day.  In the U.S. it is known as Veterans Day.  Other countries have different names for it, but it’s all the same thing.

Despite the somewhat twisted outlook of some anti-war protesters, this Day, and our reverence and respect for it, and the people it represents, are not an acceptance or celebration of war.  Rather, it is the celebration of the end of one of the largest, deadliest conflicts the world has seen, and an ongoing prayer that we might see the end of all such conflicts.

Some peace-lovers denigrate the military, but even the most devout of pacifists should remember that wolves and coyotes exist.  The peaceful shepherd employs a sheep-dog or two to remind them that they have to get past some hired fangs, to get to the lambs.

I hate war and conflict as much as any peacenik.  I devoutly wish it did not exist.  If you also hate war, good for you.  But remember, and honor, those in the past, and those who continue in the present, to give so much, so that we all may have so much, in peace!

I was going to proceed with Remembrance Day, and Poppy trivia, but that just takes away from the importance of the central theme.  Wear a Poppy, with pride and appreciation.  Attend a cenotaph ceremony, or at least watch one on television.  Hug a Veteran, gently, or salute one, or at least thank one, for going in harm’s way, that we might continue to enjoy our peaceful lifestyle.

Remember the Maine!  Remember Pearl Harbor!  Remember Dieppe!  Remember your safe and happy family.  Remember the cost to our protectors, and their families.  The American Thanksgiving Day is coming, remember to be thankful to those who ensure that we can celebrate it.

Remember to observe two minutes of soberly contemplative silence, Sunday morning at 11:00 AM, and

                                                    SALUTE