November 11th is the traditional Remembrance Day here in Canada. I do not usually go to the services because I dislike seeing political leaders trying to look patriotic by condemning the younger generations for being too vacuous to care about Remembrance day and the veterans. It is not actually true. Canada, for the most part does a great job of teaching the history of World War II at least and the Holocaust (any Holocaust deniers can keep it to their own blog, I have heard your insane ramblings and I am not interested in hearing them again). It is always good political fodder to act holier-than-thou and since the religious righteousness act does not fly in all parts of the country, claiming that everyone but you is insensitive to the contributions of our veterans is usually a safe bet with the less sophisticated voters.
I also find it disgraceful when "multi-denominational services" feature little jabs designed to appeal to Evangelicals and imply that no one who died fighting in World War II was not a Christian or that there were no atheists in foxholes. Seeing remembrance services used as evangelizing opportunities makes me physically ill. I wish there were a Remembrance Day service where politicians and clergy were not allowed to speak at people.
But this year I even avoided watching the memorial services on TV. I had noticed in the run up to Remembrance day that the media has been trying to twist the meaning of the motto "Never Again" into something it was not intended to mean. When I was a youth we were taught that "Never Again" meant that we would never again hesitate when mass murder and genocide was being perpetrated and never again would we allow totalitarian regimes to commit crimes like the Holocaust. It was not that we would never again wage war for any reason or that we would never again risk the lives of soldiers in the cause of freedom.
Many of the people who accuse everyone but themselves of forgetting about what the veterans and war dead did for Canada are the first to forget why we went to war in Europe. I have no doubt that if the events of World War II were to repeat themselves down to the miniscule level, the people of influence in our society - the media, whoever is in opposition in the parliament - would not hesitate to call out "No Blood for Poles!" or "Stop the colonial rivalry in North Africa!"
I will always remember the sacrifice of our soldiers, the lessons in history of the Holocaust and the fact that the generations after failed to learn a damn thing except how to accuse others of memory loss.