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I'm Remembering....

I'm scheduling this post to go up at exactly 11:00, the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month, when we celebrate Remembrance Day in Canada, if celebrate is the right word for it. We remember those who fought for us and gave us our freedom.

On Sunday in church we had a wonderful remembrance ceremony, with all the people who are currently serving in the military or who had served standing in uniform up at the front. Then they showed a slide show with all the Canadians who have died in Afghanistan so far. It was hard to watch all those faces. For my American friends, I know that far more of your countrymen and countrywomen have died in Iraq than we have dead in Afghanistan, but still, to see all those faces was very moving.

What I'm thinking about today is the loss of honour in our society. In World War I, as soon as it started, 600,000 Canadian boys signed up in the next week. They didn't even need a draft. England needed help, and we were going.

Today the opposition parties complain about our Afghanistan tour, and say that we should be building schools instead of engaging the enemy (they seem to forget that if we build the schools before the enemy is defeated the enemy will just blow up the schools. With kids inside. Some people aren't that bright).

I know the enemy in Afghanistan is intractable, but America did a great job in Iraq defeating the violent factions, and peace is slowly returning there, as long as Obama doesn't wreck it by pulling out too quickly and refusing to sanction combat missions. But the truth is that this is not a peaceful world, and thinking so will not make it so. If we want peace and freedom, those come with a price. And if we have soldiers willing to bear that price, why should the rest of us complain so much? They're the ones doing the fighting!

I read an article in ChildView magazine yesterday, the magazine put out by World Vision, about Afghani brides. With the drought and food shortage affecting that country, parents are selling off their little girls as brides, some as young as 8 or 9. These girls have multiple children by the age of 14, and many die in childbirth. It is disgusting, perverted, and ever so wrong. That, I believe, is what we are fighting for. To give these girls a chance. To try to introduce law and order to that country and to fight for justice.

Once upon a time people understood that. They weren't so into themselves and their own lives. When there was a call, they answered it. They believed in duty and honour. They didn't run from fights. They believed in protecting people.

Today our young men fight fake battles on Xboxes and think that that makes them brave. It doesn't. Real duty and honour can be found in daily life, anytime you sacrifice for others. It can be found when you put someone else first. When you act chivalrous. When you step in to protect someone more vulnerable. It can be found when you do what's right, rather than running from a fight. It can be found when you refuse to take the easy way out.

I am not saying that we all should go to war; please don't misunderstand me. But previous generations understood about sacrifice and duty far more than our generation does. And it worries me for the future.

It's funny, but in Canada, on Remembrance Day, we always recite In Flanders Fields. But we only go so far. We say this much:

IN FLANDERS FIELDS the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

But there is one more stanza. They don't like to recite it in schools, because on Remembrance Day they tend to give anti-war messages. But In Flanders Fields is not an anti-war poem. It is a poem about honour. The rest of it goes like this:

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Who is left to take up that quarrel? That's how we need to raise our children: to fight for what is right. To fight for justice. To fight for freedom. Maybe not in the military, but in our everyday lives. That is the fitting way to remember these great generations who fought before us, and gave so much for us. Let us never forget.

To Love, Honor and Vacuum

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At 1:51 PM , Blogger Katrina said…

Thanks for the wonderful post, Sheila! I quoted a portion of it in my blog today. Hope you don't mind! =)


At 8:40 AM , Blogger Dena @ Green Acres said…

Thank you for this post Sheila. You hit the nail right on the head! People have forgotten what is going on over there, and that those who are over there fighting chose to enlist. There is no draft. They are proud and honored to serve (and I am so proud of them as well). We have a gentleman in our church who just got back from doing a 2 yr stint in Iraq. He talked to us about the truth of what is going on over there (not just what the media is wanting to report). He broke down as he said "We are making a difference over there. With Gods help, lives are improving. They are so grateful to us for helping them. So how can that be wrong?" God bless all veterans.

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About Me

Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

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