We remember ….

Remembrance Day, Veteran’s Day or Armistice Day, depending on where you live, is acknowledged every year as we remember  those soldiers who have paid the ultimate price by giving their lives to defend their countries or allies in various wars, whether it’s the Korean War, Iraq, or Afghanistan. We all buy poppies and for one day we  remember those who have fallen in battle to defend us.

I think it’s important to remember, also, that there are thousands of soldiers who may not have paid the ultimate price of dying for their countries but they are suffering every day due to serious physical injuries, and most important, mental damage due to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. 

Many governments, including our own in Canada, refuse even to acknowledge PTSD as a legitimate disease. We must compensate the soldiers and their families who are literally going through hell on earth as a result of defending their countries. It’s time for our governments (Canadian, American, Australian, British and allies) to honour both their war dead as well as those who may as well be dead for all the assistance that their governnments are extending to them and their families.

Let’s remember all of those who sacrificed their lives and personal health to defend their countries, comrades and their fellow citizens.

Author

I live in Canada and I love big dogs, music, movies, reading and sports – especially baseball

11 comments

  • You know, as a student of history whose special focus was Russia and The Great War, I can’t help but be moved by this day each year. If any of you haven’t read Eleventh Month, Eleventh Day, Eleventh Hour, which is an amazing account of the last hours of World War I, put it on your Life-Changing/Informative Reading list.

    My father is a two-tour Vietnam veteran. When he came home, both he and his little brother were spat on in the streets. (And wouldn’t I like to get my hands on that person!) It took more than 20 years for someone to say “Thank you for fighting for me and my freedom” to him. I’ll never forget the look on his face or the tears in his eyes. And there’s no way in hell I’ll let that happen again to anyone around me. Please be sure to thank those around you who have done or are currently serving–they may not have heard it and it will mean more to them than you will know–especially to the Vietnam generation.

    Reply
    • Buda
      I read 11th Month, 11th Day, 11th Hour several years ago and I think I lent my copy to a friend. It’s probably time to buy it again.

      I don’t understand why Vietnam vets are treated with such scorn and disdain. It’s as if people blame them for a war no one wanted. It’s just awful that your father was subject to such incredible treatment when he came back to the US after having served his country. People are such pigs.

      On the other hand I went to the Vietnam Veterans War Memorial in Washington a few years ago and it was really moving to see the tributes to the soldiers. So all is not lost.

      Reply
  • My husband is a veteran of 20 years and he works for the Veterans Administration. My son just got out of the Marine Corps this summer. I feel I need to point out that our veterans in the United States are treated better now than they have been in the past. Those vets leaving the military with an honorable discharge have huge educational benefits. Those vets experiencing symptoms of PTSD who seek help, will, in most cases, get the help they need. I’m not saying the system is perfect; however, it saddens me to read comments that lessen the hard work of the people who do their utmost to support those vets who are in need.

    In my community today, the area high schools had breakfasts and ceremonies in which the student body participated in honor of the vets. Many local and national chain restaurants offered free meals to veterans who serve or served their country.

    It can be better, but it’s not all bad news.

    Reply
    • This is very good news, Patty. 🙂 You know I have a soft spot here, so I have to wonder if we’ll ever do enough–or if there is such a thing.

      Reply
    • Patty

      In my community today, the area high schools had breakfasts and ceremonies in which the student body participated in honor of the vets. Many local and national chain restaurants offered free meals to veterans who serve or served their country.

      This is a step in the right direction to show some appreciation to veterans. I hope the restaurants could make this a monthly feature in their restaurants with maybe a few local businesses picking up the tab.

      In Vancouver they just opened Honour House a place for veterans and first responders and their families. The building was donated by the Mayor, and local residents and businesses came up with the more than $4 million price tag to retrofit the building. Sarah McLaughlin, a local resident and well known singer is giving a series of benefit concerts to raise more money for operating costs as well as raise awareness.

      There has been some talk about a similar facility here in Toronto and I can’t wait for it to get going to send them a cheque.

      Reply
  • What a wonderful reminder of all that the men and women in the armed forces sacrifice, so that others don’t have to. What saddens me is that I heard variations of the following conversation all day today:

    Coworker one: The bank/post office/courthouse is closed today.
    Coworker two: Why?

    How sad that so little is given to our veterans and what they do get, a day of remembrance, has no meaning for so many other than, “Darn! I needed to make a deposit!”

    I recently visited Washington, touring the war memorials, and on vacation this year saw the Arizona. Standing there, reading the names of all who died, is a humbling experience that can never be forgotten.

    Reply
    • Eden

      How sad that so little is given to our veterans and what they do get, a day of remembrance, has no meaning for so many other than, “Darn! I needed to make a deposit!”

      It never ceases to amaze me how selfish people are. We are just as much to blame for the lack of human kindness towards our war veterans. Until our attitudes change the politicians and governments will always be able to get away to treating veterans as if they are of no consequence.

      Reply
  • You are so right Wave! It saddens me to see that once a soldier comes back….he/she are basically forgotten. Barely a “thank you” mostly a “so glad for your service, now get outta here!” So many of my family members served in the military including my husband. Even though he served in “peace-time” he rarely speaks about his time in the Army and has on occasion told me that there are things that he wished he had NOT seen. Our Veteran’s deserve our respect and love and support, and they should not just get it from family. If an elected governmental official “deserves and has earned” (how I hate that little fact) lifetime health insurance and benefits….then our Veteran’s DESERVE AND HAVE EARNED MORE. Thanks for the post and I am happy to know that there are many more people that feel the same way I do. Happy Veteran’s Day to all current and former military personnel AND their families.

    Reply
    • Elaine
      No one wants to go to war and come home in a box or with limbs missing. The other missing link that the governments don’t recognize is that those who come home need help. These soldiers are so changed by what they have seen that they are never the same person. PTSD makes them literally a time bomb waiting to explode.

      Veterans need help desperately but the governments just don’t seem to care and say they have other priorities. What could be more important than to help those who went to war to defend their country and those same people who are deciding their fate by saying ‘no’?

      Reply
  • Tam
    The legitimacy of the various wars, is as you said, not the issue (and I tried not to get into that debate as well). These people went to war to defend all of us and I think our governments should use our tax dollars to help them get healthy or get back on their feet, if they have feet. It’s a terrible price to pay and then find out that your governments really don’t care because you’re not dead, just dead to them.

    Honour House in West Vancouver is a small but very important step in acknowledging the soldiers and their families as well as families of
    injured police, fire and ambulance first responders receiving medical treatment in Metro Vancouver. This facility was funded by private donations, with help from the Mayor of New Westminster in the form of the donation of a building, that was then retrofitted by private funding. We need to help our soldiers if the senior leves of government won’t.

    Reply
  • Great post Wave. Just because you can’t see the damage doesn’t mean it’s not there. I can only imagine what seeing those things does to your brain.

    Whether you think soldiers should be where they are, doing what they are, they are doing their jobs and they deserve the support and appreciation of those of us sitting safe and sound back home.

    Reply

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