Lest we forget: terrorism does not define us
Recently, Montreal-area schools have cancelled field trips to various cenotaphs on Remembrance Day following the murder of two Canadian soldiers in the month of October at the hands of radicalized individuals. The change put in place has been declared to be in the name of safety and caution.
They are sending the wrong message.
Remembrance Day is when we come together as a nation to pause and pay our respects to the countless brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, and anyone who answered the call to arms and defended the ideas of liberty and democracy that we so cherish. It is a day during which we are reminded that we are part of a society which will not cower in the face of tyranny and oppression. More importantly, it bears witness to the fact that we, as Canadians, will not sit idly by as those around us are trampled and beaten.
How are we supposed to demonstrate this to future generations if we allow terrorism to paralyze us and have us hide in fear, on the one day a year we should stand ever so proudly? We should not let such people define how we go about, or cause us to question our daily safety. Our nation is equipped with a military and an internal security apparatus which does a highly effective job at keeping our borders and the Canadian population safe. As we all know, these incidents are rare and should in no way reflect on the daily lives of citizens. Every day that we walk out of our homes and function as a society, it is a victory in the face of terrorism and an act of defiance towards the fear it tries to instil.
The schools are failing to show just that, and maybe it’s time that citizens remind school boards what it is to be Canadian. Kids should be taught that we never surrender our civic culture to savage acts of terrorism and the individuals or groups who commit them. If we show those students that we can be pushed around by this, how will they react when their generation is faced with violence? Might we inspire them to act out of fear or will we just be remembered as having folded when we needed to hold our heads up high? Who knows, but as Abraham Lincoln once said: “The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of the government in the next”.
So on this Remembrance Day, buy a poppy and take a moment on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month to show that we are grateful for those who serve and have served. If you have the time, give your school boards a call and voice your opinion on their policy regarding this important day. It is vital to not sit idly by when today’s actions and reactions can have such an impact on our future. Most importantly, let us remind the world what it is to be the True North—strong and free.
Lest We Forget.