February 20th, 2018

We all have role to play in preserving freedom

By Letter to the Editor on November 11, 2017.

This year, it’s more important than ever to remember what “lest we forget” really means.

We remember the lives lost in order that this may never happen again. We celebrate Remembrance Day not to glorify military action, but to remind us of its costs. As citizens, it’s our duty to preserve the freedom for which our veterans sacrificed themselves. This isn’t something that happens automatically; it’s something we have to continually work for.

This means rule of law institutions, and diplomacy. It means freedom of the press and the right to protest. It means protecting the rights and safety of our most vulnerable and marginalized citizens.

World War One was basically caused by petty but powerful little men pounding their chests, with no regard for the price that would be paid in human blood. Have we learned a lesson about the power of diplomacy and de-escalation? About leaders’ decisions reflecting the will of all citizens?

World War Two was caused by the idea that some people, nations or races are superior, and fit to rule over, torture and kill others. Have we learned a lesson about giving everyone equal respect, rights, opportunities and protection, regardless of race, gender, ability or sexual orientation?

Be an informed citizen. Vote. Call your representatives. Read the newspaper. Subscribe to a newspaper. Write letters to the newspaper. Travel. Meet people who are different from you. Support the rights of people who are different from you. Protest injustice. Get a library card and use it. Donate to non-profits (ones that support veterans and protect civil liberties would be in the spirit of the holiday).

It’s not enough to thank those who serve in the military, and then take the resulting freedom and democracy for granted. We can all play a part to prevent history from repeating itself.

Marcie Wallace


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4 Responses to “We all have role to play in preserving freedom”

  1. biff says:

    i appreciate your thoughts. we indeed need to honour the war dead and injured by fighting for peace and not for corporate, tribal, and individual greed and self service. in other words, invest most heavily in diplomacy and peace keeping, and focus on creating fair win win outcomes; then, be ready to stand on guard only when our turf is to be attacked. we can ask ourselves: is our nation to be a blessing to ourselves and the world, or will it continue to be the blight we have become the past 30 years in our earnest to be the usa lackey?

    only one thought i cannot agree with, and that is to vote. our system is broken, and that is why we keep getting the same old. harper did very well on one thing during all his years in power, he showed us how easily it is to thwart our system of checks and balances with a bogus “majority” gov’t: puppet mps that primarily want a great pay cheque and benefits, so they will accept being party whipped, and will sell any ideals they may have to stay in power; crooked bagmen leaders that sell us the corporate agenda to which they are beholden, the consequence of the bags of money parties and aspiring individuals can receive from private interests; a docile governor general’s office that does absolutely nothing other than eat up volumes of our money (a rubber stamp should not cost us near as much); ditto the senate; and continuing with an archaic electoral system that was designed for a 2 party system, which results in outcomes that are too often undemocratic – gerrymandered voting districts and a diluted vote return us majority gov’ts (ie virtual totalitarian rule) based on less than 40% of voter support. your vote,therefore, only entrenches the facade.
    don’t vote; don’t support the status quo, because it most serves the few, not the many, and speak out against the the reality that condemns each of our votes amounts to only a fraction of the one we are each entitled to.

    • marciewallace says:

      Respectfully, I must disagree about voting. I do agree with you about the problems with our current system, but I don’t think not voting is the answer. When we opt out of our institutions, we can’t help to change them–we just hand over our power to those who do participate. If you don’t like any of the options on the ballot, you can always run for office yourself 🙂 The best way to change things is often from the inside.

      Before WWI, hardly anyone had the right to vote. Leaders in most countries were only accountable to wealthy white men. If other groups of people had had a means of expressing their will in government, maybe the war could have been avoided and countless lives saved. For many people, the right to vote was a recent development and a hard-won one at that. It’s not something to take for granted.

      • biff says:

        i appreciate your optimism, m.w. i will remind that the libs had in their platform a promise to fix our electoral system at the federal level. they have chose to renege on that key promise. this is one of too too many examples of how our vote returns little to nothing; seems lies are acceptable. we can then vote for another party in reaction, only to find we again voted for their lies. every gov’t at every level knows this practice too well. you may choose to vote for liars and hope something will change, but the real agenda is controlled by people not elected: highly paid and powerful mandarins, deputy ministers, and lobbyists, all acting on behalf of the corporate entity. the vote, in addition to being ineffective for reasons noted in my previous entry on this thread, is then powerful only in that it legitimises the broken and corrupted system. in other words, one’s vote only just says yes to the crooked mess.

  2. already extinct says:

    marciewallace – respectfully, brush up on your politics!

    Before WWI, through today, there were/are more black, yellow and every other color you dream to describe despots controlling flocks of sheep on this planet, than the hackneyed “wealthy white men”. you refer to!

    Plus you obviously have never held elected office! If you had you’d know you certainly can’t change much (from the inside) once you sign on to be conditioned, groomed & controlled by those who guide elected officials around by the nose – your city council is one good example – that’s why they pay the top cat running the show in Lethbridge something i nthe order of three times we pay Mayor Spearman. Also more than our Prime Minister, our Premier, and the Governor General.

    Yes I agree voting is important. It keeps the illusion alive – as biff succinctly explains .

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