After a few days of contemplation, I had to write in. As a war veteran, I attended the Remembrance Day ceremonies in Kamloops last weekend and marched in the parade.
First, I must thank all who turned out to remember the sacrifices made by soldiers in service to Canada.
The "ceremony" was deplorable, however. The first 45 minutes were spent praying to a God, which is all right if you're in church, I suppose.
We were not. I have fought with men and women from all races and religions. Most came away atheists, figuring who would worship a God that condones the violence they had witnessed.
Barely a mention was made of my comrades' sacrifice for their country. No mention was made of why we were to remember them, it was all "by the glory of God" and church hymns.
Politicians start wars and young men fight them.
If you chose to believe in a God, he gave us free will, and our leaders used it to involve us in wars. If you don't believe in a god or gods, then it's just politicians to blame.
As soldiers, we don't ask for much, just that you ensure we don't die in vain. We all sign up knowing the risks and accept responsibility for our actions at every turn. Worshipping a god and praying to it to end wars is a huge insult, especially at a Remembrance Day ceremony.
I stood there and all I could hear was a public figure passing off everyone's responsibility to hold our politicians accountable as an "act of God."
Sometimes the ultimate sacrifice is necessary, and the reasons to send our young to their deaths should be weighed very carefully, not left up to some mythical being.
The remainder of the ceremony was the announced laying of wreaths. An endless stream of corporations, politicians and organizations were announced as they laid wreaths. There were about 10 out of what seemed like a hundred that were laid for a soldier or soldiers who died in battle. All the rest were nothing but advertising.
I apologize for being so rude to say it this way, as I know that everyone had the best intentions.
Standing there trying to remember my friends who have died and were maimed, trying to imagine what soldiers of past wars went through, I couldn't help but get angrier and angrier as I watched what turned out to be a pitch for a god and an advertising campaign.
Please, can we just remember?
© Kamloops Daily News