Show respect, attend Remembrance Day ceremonies: LETTER

Grade 12 student saddened Canadians don’t attend services

Dear Editor,

My name is Jessika James. I am a Grade 12 student in Castor, Alta. and I am writing in regards to a pressing matter in today’s society.

In all the history I have learned, there has never been a fully peaceful time. Yes, there has been moments in history when all the major players have been relatively happy. However, even just a couple years ago, when all seemed to be great and peaceful, Syria was, and still is, in the middle of a civil war. Canada, along with other western countries, have assisted with these wars. This is modern day, but Canada has been fighting for peace before it was an official country.

For the past 1000 years, people living on Canadian soil have been battling for peace. For the past 150 years, we have been helping other countries find their peace. In an ironic way, yes, but Canada has played a large role in making the world a better place. However, this was not because of the the efforts of John A. MacDonald or Lester B. Pearson. In my opinion, only a small part of our success as a country goes to the politicians who lead it.

The majority of the success goes to the men and women who sacrificed their minds and their bodies and their lives. Those who came back did not come back the same. There is no way someone could come back the same. Be it PTSD or lost limbs, these people were changed. They lost a part of themselves while fighting for us. I think it’s a small request to ask everyone to attend Remembrance Day ceremonies.

The small request, though, is often denied. I attend the ceremony in Alliance, Alta. every year. The chairs seem to fill up less and less every year I go. It saddens me to see that people can’t take two hours out of their life to attend a memorial service. Two hours is small amount of time compared to the amount of time soldiers spend defending our freedoms.

When I hear people complain that they don’t have time to attend ceremonies, I think of what the world would have been like if the wars we fought in hadn’t ended the way they did. Adolf Hitler wouldn’t have stopped until he had his ‘master race’. Most of us wouldn’t even be alive. Joseph Stalin would have kept killing people, until there was nobody left to be paranoid of. Benito Mussolini, being Hitler’s role model, wanted world domination as well. Hideki Tōjō wanted to wipe out all races except for the Japanese. There are many other lesser known examples. I think, had the allies not won most of these wars, civilizations would not be allowed the freedoms everybody appreciates so much. Adults vote, but that wouldn’t be allowed under a totalitarian government. Citizens of Canada have the right to free speech, but dictators don’t allow you to speak against them.

In today’s society, people are more concerned about Halloween and Christmas than Remembrance Day. This is an issue, because if we forget the events of the past, we are more likely to repeat history. It is already happening. A very right-wing, borderline fascist, man is the president of the United States. A fascist party in Germany gained 92 seats in their most recent election. I’m not suggesting that the world’s problems are due to the fact that people begin celebrating Christmas way too early. I’m suggesting that perhaps, if everyone took two hours out of their busy lives, on November 11th, maybe, just maybe, the slogan, “Lest We Forget” might actually be relevant.

Maybe we could remember all the lives lost over the past 1000 years of warfare, and maybe, we could make a big enough difference to lead the world to peace. That is what we’re all wishing for, isn’t it?

Thanks and regards,

Jessika James

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