23 August 2012

Dying for your country in anonymity

According to Wikipedia, 158 Canadian Forces personnel have been killed in the Afghan war since 2002. Their ultimate sacrifice has been widely recognized, honoured and commemorated—individually and collectively—and will continue to be, at least every November 11th, for generations.

I thought about this while reading about how the Alberta government has decided to no longer publish statistics on the deaths of farm workers in the province. These people also make the ultimate sacrifice for their country, yet there is no recognizing, honouring or commemorating. They may perform a service far more valuable than whatever our troops were doing in Afghanistan, yet they are no longer even counted.

We do, however, have a good idea of their number. In 2010, the last year the government published the figure, 22 workers lost their lives on Alberta farms. At that rate, every seven years the death toll matches that of the total sacrifice in Afghanistan.

Put on a uniform, pick up a gun, die for your country, and become a hero. Put on your overalls, rev up your tractor, die for your country, and you don't even become a statistic.

1 comment:

  1. Didn't you get the memo from Steve? Profits over human life. It's the new way, brother.