Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Happy Xmas

Well, it's Christmas Eve. It's a time when everyone should be near to all those who are dearest to them, and how "peace on Earth" should be less of a mantra and more of a reality. Except that it's not. Countries from all around the world are engaged in battles in Iraq, Afghanistan, and off the coast of Somalia to name a few places, and all of the men and women involved in these battles are nowhere near their families. In all of these war-ravaged countries, children and parents are affected by the gunfire daily, and the word "peace" is an unknown. This isn't going to become Political Blog In Canada whatsoever, but this entry is a message of hope and thanks.

Thank you to the brave men and women who have enlisted in the Armed Forces to protect the very things we hold so dear to our hearts: freedom, happiness, and the right to pursue these things without prejudice. You are the true heroes that we should be honouring, and the fact that you put yourself in grave danger everyday to defend these rights only makes me hope that these conflicts end sooner rather later so you can be with your families again. Thank you for all you do.

Thank you to the families of these men and women for being just as courageous in allowing your loved ones to defend these rights without asking when, where, or how. Thank you for having this courage, and for being as strong as your loved ones serving overseas. My heartfelt prayers and hopes go out to each and every one of you that your loved ones will return safe and unharmed, allowing them to continue on their paths to happiness.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the 103 families in Canada who will be celebrating Christmas this year with one less person. Since 2002, 103 Canadian soldiers have fallen in Afghanistan, and that's a terrible number in my view. For a country that bases its assistance on missions of peace-keeping, 103 peace-keepers have been lost due to the civil unrest in Afghanistan. To the 103 families affected by these losses, your son or daughter or husband or wife has committed the ultimate sacrifice in defending what's right, and they will not be forgotten for that. Be strong this Christmas, and know that this writer shares in your grief over losing men and women with such bright futures. May they rest in peace for all eternity.

To those men and women who have been wounded in the line of duty, you will not be forgotten here either. You have shown the courage and tenacity of a higher level than those who attempted to take your lives, and your bravery deserves recognition. Hold your heads high, ladies and gentlemen, because you are the men and women who make this country proud and are the foundation of all that this country stands for. You are the men and women we should look to when we honour our troops because you also have sacrificed, and I thank you for that.

This link contains an entire list of the Canadian men and women who have fallen in Afghanistan. This is a list that commands the utmost respect, and all of Canada should know these names. Read over the list, and note the ages. The oldest person of the fallen soldiers was 46. The youngest was a mere 20 years-old.

To my good friend, Lindy, I sincerely hope that your brother returns home soon. Christmas is always a difficult time when family can't be together, and I know you worry about him. Godspeed, Matt, and get home safe!

Happy Xmas, everyone. Let's start giving peace a chance so all of us can spend time with our nearest and dearest during this holiday season. And lest we ever forget these men and women.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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