It's November eleventh the day we in Canada remember those who paid the butcher's bill for our freedom with their blood. As for me, I served with the Canadian Grenadier Guards, HMCS Donnacona and as a regular force Fire fighter. Today is a day when I sit back and remember the gang I served with. While in the Canadian Armed Forces regular force I was a Firefighter (MOC 651) at Canadian Forces Base Borden, CFB Toronto and aboard HMCS Saguenay.
The gang I was with in the regular force are mostly gone now, the two crew chiefs I had and a majority of guys I was on shift with have passed. Mostly it has been various forms of cancer that got 'em and that fact is something I have to live with.
Today as I look at the ceremony on "The Hill" I can't help but think of the waste in human lives. Canada recently got out of Afghanistan after a long hard struggle with a butcher's bill of 149 good people. After a year the Taliban are moving back in and reclaiming the turf Canadians paid for with their blood. Now the folks in Ottawa want to send "peace keepers" to Africa for three years. This makes me wonder what the butchers bill is going to be this time.
These days I tend to think there is a detachment from the reality of war by our illustrious leaders. Our leaders who are so free to spend the lives of the brightest and best on their wild goose chases. Personally I would like to see a change in this. Would it be so wrong for a requirement that anyone wishing to run for federal office have served in the military? Would it be wrong if our leaders knew first hand what it's like to hear the crack of a bullet as it passes over head then hear the sound of the gun from where the bullet came from?*
I know I'm just dreaming. It will always be the politicians doing the lying as the troopers do the dying. Spending life is cheap when the life that's spent isn't your own I guess.
Well the sun is almost over the yardarm so I am going to go hoist a glass in salute to all my absent friends, and the unknown friends who went and paid my share of the butchers bill.
Lest we forget...
* It has been said you never hear the shot that kills you. This is because the bullet travels faster than the speed of sound. If it misses you will hear a crack as the bullet goes by. That's the sound of the bullet travelling at supersonic speed. As for how I know this...