Thursday, November 11, 2004

On the Eleventh Day ...

Remembrance Day today. (Okay, the Americans call it Veterans Day. It's still the same thing.)

I just returned from a conference in Winnipeg. We observed the customary 2 minutes after 11 while flying over Ontario, minds still attuned to Central Standard Time.

Normally, as a member of the CF Reserves I'd be marching in the national Remembrance Day parade. (Since my reserve unit is in Ottawa, if I wasn't working I was marching.) I don't mind; it's the least I could do for the vets.

Pretty much all of the generation from the Great War are gone now. And those who fought in World War II are thinning out, year after year. It's good to remember their accomplishments while we still have them with us.

It's sad, in a way, to realize that the ranks of the veterans may still increase. Americans will point out the vets of Vietnam, Iraq, the War on Terror. Canadians will add the peacekeepers, the soldiers of Afghanistan and other ops of the War on Terror.

The lesson of Remembrance Day is not that war is a terrible thing, though it is. It is that, while peace is always a noble cause, there are still some things about our civilization, our society, that are worth fighting for. And we would be less than honouable if we did no homage to those who fought for us, as well as those who didn't come back.