On Memorial Day we paid our respects to the more than 400 soldiers buried in our local cemetery who sacrificed their lives for the freedoms we enjoy. One of the veterans who participated in Monday’s ceremony shared a famous poem by a fellow Canadian written during World War I and read by every young Canadian student at some point during their formative years in school.
The world has changed greatly since 1915 and sometimes countries forget how important it is to remember how they have been given an advantage because of the sacrifice of others.
Visiting home some years ago, a few in my family wondered out loud why I would want to become a citizen of a country full of war-mongering, self-important people too selfish to provide health care coverage for all their citizens but that allows anyone to own a gun.
I responded: “If by war-mongering you mean protecting the innocent and powerless from the abuses of dictators, if by self-important you mean a culture that rewards effort and risk-taking to get ahead, if by selfish you mean offering a young Canadian lad the opportunity to earn a college education using just his ability to play football — then guilty they are!”
After Dad asked me to calm down, I continued: “You find it easy to cast judgment on a country for not providing something that you take for granted, but let me ask you how much you worry about Canada’s security and how much does Canada pay to keep a standing military force? It’s easy to forget that you enjoy quasi-socialism because of a protector south of your border.”
“As far as owning guns is concerned, it is an enshrined right of a republic to afford certain rights that are inalienable, and guns are just one of the constitutional guarantees that restrain governments from exercising undue authority and forcing its citizens to register every firearm and apply for a permit to buy bullets as you do in Canada.”
Canada is known as our peaceful, gentle brother to the north, and I use every opportunity I can to help my family remember why they get to live such a charmed existence.
Thank you, veterans!