Lest we forget? How could we possibly? At this time of year we are overwhelmed with noise about not forgetting.
Now the warrior worshipers are demanding that stores not put up their Xmas displays until after November 11th. It is disrespectful, they say. Frankly, I wouldn't be unhappy if stores didn't put up their displays until the last week before Xmas, but it seems to me we are overdoing this Remembrance thing.
Blasphemy, some will say. You should be ashamed. Those dead soldiers died for your freedom to write your blog and say what you think. Nonsense. No one in the Canadian military ever died for my freedom, for other people's yes, but not for mine.
Even the fighting for other people's freedom has been a mixed bag. For example, during WWI while Canadians were trying to protect the Belgians and the French from the Germans, Belgium was oppressing and exploiting the Congolese, and France the Vietnamese. And, of course, the British were doing the same thing to Indians and Africans. And as soon as the war was over, France and Britain greedily gobbled up the remains of the Ottoman Empire to add to their ill-gotten gains. In short, we fought for freedom for some at the expense of others.
The Second World War echoed the First. The Japanese were bad guys because they wanted to do what the European powers had done—build an empire. And since the Europeans had expropriated most of Asia, i.e. Japan's back yard, why shouldn't the Japanese get a piece of the action? Canadian troops died keeping Asia safe for European imperialists.
In Europe, the Germans too wanted to build an empire, but we would have none of that. Subjugating Asians and Africans was quite acceptable in those days, but subjugating white people was simply not on. Nonetheless, the brutality of the Nazis put us on the side of the angels and in that case at least Remembrance is justified.
One of the most politically correct traditions in today's society demands the veneration of warriors. As someone who has little respect for the military, I find myself on the incorrect side. In the minds of many, warrior is the highest calling of man, but I simply don't believe that a profession dedicated to the fine art of killing people is a particularly noble one. So no poppy for me.