Friday, November 11, 2005

How to build peace??

Veterans are being honoured across Canada today. Even though its past 11:00, people coming in to the coffee shop I'm at are still wearing poppies. CBC Radio has been broadcasting interviews with vets, stories about vets, stories about war... This morning the new Governor General was among the many dignitaries laying wreaths at the Cenotaph near Parliament Hill.

When I worked in the Reserves I used to enjoyed participating in Remembrance Day parades - even though, being in Saskatchewan, it was always cold and the roads we marched on in our thin-soled dress-boots were slippery with ice and snow. Inevitably someone would forget his or her gloves and so, for the sake of uniformity, we would all march with bare hands in biting winds. But I like the solemnity of the services and the respects paid to the old men and women wearing berets and military decorations pinned on jackets too big for their stooped frames.

Our veterans made great sacrifices and too many died. They deserve to be honoured. But while I have great respect for them, I wish, wish, wish the focus we gave to the war today would fuel a greater drive to prevent future conflict and bring peace to existing ones.

'The World at War' lists 39 ongoing conflicts in the world. How many hundreds, thousands of people will die in these conflicts before the next November 11th? Will they be honoured with marching bands, wreaths and speeches in years to come? Or will they just become statistics, forgotten victims of global political and power struggles?

And how can I, sitting here in my little world, do anything to change their fate??

If you know, could you tell me?

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