My Little Corner of Canada
by JOHN AMAGOALIK
A pause to remember
The autumn of each year is a busy time for everyone. School has started. People are back at work after the summer holidays. The World Series is played. The Grey Cup is up for grabs. The hockey and basketball seasons is starting. There is Hallowe’en and Thanksgiving. Christmas is just around the corner. In the midst of all this is November 11, Remembrance Day.
It is fitting that Remembrance Day is in the middle of all this hustle and bustle. If it were not for the sacrifices of millions of young men and women during two world wars, we probably would not be practicing these rites of autumn. Our world would probably be quite different.
There are still many people alive today who lived through those wars and remember them from personal experience. There are those of us who were born soon after the last world war and are influenced deeply by the after effects it had on the world’s population. But to today’s generation of young people, the world wars are a bit more distant. Even the starkest moments in history are eventually jaded by the march of time.
But the connection between the kind of society we have today to the sacrifices of millions in the wars must be remembered. We celebrate all these things in the autumn because people laid down their lives for them. If the bad guy had won, would there be a Canada? If it existed, what would it be like? Would it still be possible to create Nunavut? Not likely.
The world is smarter than it was 60 years ago. It was easier for the Hitlers and Stalins to do their dirty work back then. The world is becoming less tolerate of tyrants and world leaders are more resolved to keeping them in check. But the Saddam Husseins and the Pol Pots are still around. Today’s generation must keep a sharp eye out for these modern day tyrants.
Give many thanks during Thanksgiving. Enjoy the little witches and goblins during Halloween. Cheer your hockey team. Have a happy Christmas. Pause for a moment and think of all those poppies that grow row on row in Flanders Field.