If You Love Your Freedom, Celebrate Veterans!

Dave’s Write Away
By Dave Scott, Host, Spaced Out Radio

If You Love Your Freedom, Celebrate Veterans!
There’s an old saying that reads, “Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.”  Those words from Edmund Burke over 300 years ago, are sure ringing loudly these days, especially with the advent of social media.  The fact is every year, we move further and further away from the ‘Great Wars’. The newer, younger generations have no concept or clue as to what sacrifices were made yesterday, for their freedoms today.  It’s something we’ve unfortunately taken for granted.  The world is still such a dangerous place.  Gone are the days of tyrants like Hitler and Mussolini.  Today, it’s terrorism.  But what’s remains constant is the world still isn’t 100 percent safe.  We can sit here and blame all we want, whether it’s about oil, the ‘cabal’ or Illuminati.  Or if it’s the way of the decades of the military-industrial complex.  We can blame political parties, when in reality, war is non-partisan.  It’s us versus them.
Since 9/11, the world has been at war.  It just hasn’t been called World War III, but instead, the ‘War On Terror’.  We’ve seen the Middle East bombed beyond recognition, looking more like a lunar landscape than a place for people to live safely.  It’s what we’ve become accustomed to, unfortunately.  It was 101 years ago that World War I ended.  An Armistice that lasted 21-years before the flare up of World War II.  Young men, the average age of 18-years old, being put into traumatic war time situations that no child should be subject to.  The Germans, Italians and Japanese were the clear cut enemies of the world.  But these young men, from dozens of countries, fought, died, and were wounded both physically and emotionally for the rest of their lives.  Some never recovered.  Others carried it to their grave.  There are no longer any World War I veterans left on this planet.  Every day we are losing hundreds who fought in World War II.  Then there’s Korea, Vietnam, the First Gulf War, and the 18-year War On Terror.  Let’s also not forget all of the skirmishes in between as well.
So fast forward to today.  On Good Morning Britain recently, an Instagram Influencer, 22-year old Freddie Bentley, who has made a name for himself as a reality star, went on national television in England, proclaiming that kids today in school shouldn’t need to learn about the World Wars.  Items like ‘Brexit’, are way more important in today’s society. He was quoted as saying, “It was a hard situation, World War II, and I don’t want anyone to think I’m being disrespectful in that way whatsoever,” Bentley said. “However, I will stand by the point that I don’t think it’s educational in the way – there’s so many problems going on in the world at the moment like Brexit that’s not taught in schools. And climate change, which is a situation that I feel like we should be aware of. When I left school it hit me like a ton of bricks. I didn’t know anything about general life.”  The topic came up on GMB because on the Apprentice television show there, the contestants revealed they didn’t know the proper dates of World War II when tasked with trying to find a pre-war copy of Alice in Wonderland.  Freddie defended his actions stating that the wars are not worth being taught in school.  When told that more than 50-million people died in World War II alone, Freddie suggested, “I don’t think it needs to be put in such a young way to young children mentally – there mental health to be told this amount of people died for you. Mental health is on the rise and I don’t think encouraging death or telling people how many people died in a World War is going to help someone in the future.”
Here in Canada, we wear ‘Poppies’ leading up to and on Remembrance Day.  It’s a tradition that began after World War One.  I took this quote from the Royal Canadian Legion website. “The person who first introduced the Poppy to Canada and the Commonwealth was Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae of Guelph, Ontario, a Canadian Medical Officer during the First World War. John McCrae penned the Poem “In Flanders Fields” on a scrap of paper in May, 1915 on the day following the death of a fellow soldier. Little did he know then that those 13 lines would become enshrined in the hearts and minds of all who would wear them.”  The poem is below.
In Flanders Fields
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae
~ May 3, 1915
But up here, many Canadian millennials have decided to gripe about the poppy, saying it’s red because it’s stained in blood. Claiming the red poppy glorifies war.  Ignorance at its finest.  So what they’ve done is started wearing white poppies as a symbol of peace and humanity.  Every year, the news media finds someone making a political stand against the red poppy.
Learning from the past should always make us smarter for the future.  It’s tough to say right now whether or not that’s working when Freddie and others think forgetting about the World Wars is quite alright.  Look, let’s not be naive and remember that there will come a day when the wars are all but forgotten.  As generations ahead will know not a single soul from that era when young lads became instantaneous men, without a ‘safe room’ to help control and contain their feelings.  But we must try to prolong the history of what was one of the most important timelines in recent times.  That’s with teaching the young children of today about what happened, what’s happening now, and what could happen in the future.  War sucks.  Let’s be honest.  No one is the same after serving in combat.  We all, one way or another, have a connection with veterans.  Show some respect.  Shake a hand or two.  Say thank you to a veteran.  Remember they signed on the dotted line to die for you.  Would you do the same for them?  I don’t know if I would have the balls to do so.  I really don’t.  So teach your kids the respect.  Thank a veteran.  They deserve more than what we give.  You may not appreciate it now.  But there may come a time when you do.

Author: Gail Hodson Shirk

Please Login to Comment.