The Essence of Memorial Day for Me, a Canadian.

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The Essence of Memorial Day for Me, a Canadian.

Post by Mecron » Mon Nov 12, 2018 1:21 am

I won’t lie. Sometimes its fun to think about being an American, especially when it comes to war stuff. Everyone knows how to yell “Semper FI!” Everyone knows what it looks like to plant a flag in Iwo Jima. Some people know what its like to be old school G and say “Nuts” when the Nazis ask you to surrender.

When you are Canadian though, you come from a culture that doesn’t really have much of that. Don’t get me wrong, we fight when the time is right and we have held our own against the best gone through some of the more brutal battles over the past hundred years. But its not Glory that drives us and its not Glory that we remember. Its Duty. We go to war when a war needs to be fought. When the threat is great and the day is dark. And we go in on the first day. We have answered when called even though it cost us 200 thousand casualties (killed and wounded) in the First World War and a 100 thousand in the second. Large numbers for a country yet to pass 10 million total population back then. And still when our Allies called upon us we again went into the thick in Korea and Afghanistan and when the UN needs troops to keep the peace somewhere.

But for all that we don’t get a lot of movies. We have distinguished military units with brave histories going back centuries, but hardly any Canadians know them by name and even less would recognize their battle cries. If you asked an average Canadian if we had “Special Forces”, the most likely answer would be a “I guess so.” Because, in the end, I think, what Canadians value is sacrifice more than glory or even tradition. We have always been less interested in telling people how ready and eager we are to go to war, and instead just quietly think about the cost when our Country tells us it is time to go to war.

We train, we do the job and we try to come home to the people we love. Many of us make it back, some of us don’t. And it’s them we remember and honor on this day.

This young man left his home and his loved ones just like over a million other canadians in ww2…but he never returned. ... il/1079421

Instead he met his end with his mates aboard a B-24 liberator on a cold grey day in October 1943 off the coast of France. His flight was hunting German Submarines that were almost succeeding in starving out England. ... Itemid=394

Pages on the internet. They will not make it into any movie. No one at the head of a parade somewhere will talk about Daniel McInnis. No one will claim he said something defiant as his plane was ripped apart by German fighters.

But Canadians know him. Because we know his family and friends were hoping he would make it through the war and return home. But he never did. One distant allied plane saw his final moments from miles away. And that’s it.

Do we know he was brave? Yes. Do we know if he wished he were somewhere else at that moment? Of course! What young man has nothing better to do than die? Was he scared? I think he must have been but I hope it was very brief and he had a moment to think of the love he had known.

And so decades later his country does not honor his machismo, or his keen combat skills or even his willingness to destroy the enemy that truly was threatening the world.

No, on this day we Canadians honor him and all the fallen not for what they were willing to do but what they were willing to sacrifice to get it done. When he left the shores of Prince Edward Island he probably thought he would be one of the lucky ones, but the idea he might not be did not turn him around. He went and he fought and he died because it was what needed to be doing and he trusted in his King and Country not to spend his life foolishly.

This is what we do.

This is what we remember.

This is what we honor.

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Re: The Essence of Memorial Day for Me, a Canadian.

Post by lavamadness » Mon Nov 12, 2018 2:23 am

Well said.
David Salsman
Senior Programmer,
Kerberos Productions

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