As we approach Remembrance Day, I am so proud of us, as Canadians and as Islanders.
When all our political parties wouldn’t get past their petty partisanship for the good of the 99% and our environment, we organized and went around them.
Then we voted in record numbers. So Canadian.
To me, that is a real honouring of the millions of men, women and children who have and are suffering and dying in the name of democracy, freedom and justice.
Last October, I had the sobering experience of being at the Tower of London to see the U.K.’s commemoration of the “empire’s” service dead in the First World War, formerly called the Great War and The War to End All Wars.
The commemoration was 888,246 ceramic poppies, one for each of the service men and women from the British Empire who died in that near total conflagration.
The total dead from that insanity was around 16 million.
Historians are still musing as to just what caused it. They do agree a major factor was the vested interests of the socio-political elite of two empires presided over by two cousins — neither of which was all that democratic.
The terms of settlement from the First World War was a major contributing factor to the total war known as the Second World War. Another 55 million died in it.
In between these two, another 18 million died from malnutrition and disease unleashed by the war.
And we are only at half way through the last century.
Now we are bogged down in horrid wars generating millions of refugees, particularly in the Middle East. According to Scott Anderson’s 2014 Lawrence of Arabia, the roots go back to the First World War.
In this moment, we have entered a new era of hope, promise and activism in Canada.
However, as even Margaret Trudeau states, to realize this promise, we all need to be involved in pushing our elected representatives to deliver an authentically sustainable and just Canada.
Surely, all those who suffered and died in the name of our freedoms deserve no less from us.
Yvonne ZarownyQualicum Beach