Thursday, November 12, 2009

Goodale: Hat's Off To Our Veterans

War is hell.

War is wrong. We need to ensure the words "never again" ring true... That was the whole purpose of Remembrance Day...

Here's Ralph Goodale's take on Remembrance Day:

For the week beginning November 9th, 2009


In an era of so many so-called “super heroes” on television, at the movies or on the internet, you get a distorted picture of what heroism really is.

But during “Veterans Week” every year, we have an opportunity to pay tribute to the real thing – to those courageous Canadian men and women who have actually gone into mortal combat to defend our way of life on battlefields from Vimy Ridge to Juno Beach and Panmunjom; and from Suez to Kosovo and Kandahar.

These are real Canadian heroes.

They know what it is to fight for your life – to put everything you’ve got “on the line” for your home and country, and for countless people you could not possibly know. The extraordinary valour of Canadian veterans has secured our freedom, advanced democracy, protected human rights and given peace a chance.

Two years ago, I learned of a special family of veterans, originally from New Brunswick, but now in Regina. It was the Ryan family, including no fewer than eight brothers who had all enlisted and fought for Canada in WW2 or Korea or both.

Working with the Minister of Veterans Affairs, I prepared a special citation for the Ryans to acknowledge their remarkable service. Through the Royal Canadian Legion, the citation was presented to the last surviving Ryan brother last year.

When news of that presentation circulated, I discovered another local family in similar circumstances – the Wallaces from the Milestone district – eight brothers (Blair, Thomas, Donald, Robin, Malcolm, Hugh, John and James) all of whom responded to their country’s call.

Again, with the help of the Minister of Veterans Affairs and the Legion, the Wallace family is receiving their special citation during this Veterans Week. The original eight have all passed away now, but their memory endures.

A grateful nation remembers. And says thank you.

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1 comment:

sassy said...