This is the second time I chose to write an article related to Remembrance Day, war, the food we eat and the relationship these three things have. First, I would like to direct you to the first article published two years ago today. It was a rant against Stephen Harper and his stubbornness in keeping our troops overseas to wage war instead of respecting Canada’s long-term reputation as peacekeepers and neutral participants.
While reflecting on these words, I am also inviting you to read an email that Elizabeth May, first and currently still – although maybe not for long – only Green Party elected parliament member, sent out to her followers for this day of remembrance:
“November 11th is a day to remember that soldiers die believing they were sent for a reason, a noble cause, to defend, to liberate.
Women and men of the military are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice and we owe them our respect and gratitude. November 11th is a time for national reflection.
We remember those who gave their lives willingly.
We remember the shattered lives of soldiers who return wounded not only physically, but psychologically.
We remember that the sacrifice is not just that of a single soldier but their entire family and often an entire community.
We remember the overwhelming, countless loss of civilians who didn’t choose to die.
We remember how easy it is to begin a war but not to end it. There is no such thing as a short war–the effects of violence remain long after the last shot is fired.
We remember the sacrifice of those who work for peace and to end violence.
We remember that violence does not happen just between nations but contaminates our entire society and our way of thinking.
On November 11th we remember, with gratitude.
On November 11th, we remember and pray that war will be no more.”
These words strike a chord with me because she chooses to say that these wars are often useless and the sacrifice made by these soldiers is immense. She mentions how it is not just on a battlefield that war is fought and the victims are many – and many times were never involved.
Meanwhile, Stephen Harper, the current Prime Minister of Canada – although maybe not for long (Canada elections are on November 26th) – is spending millions of taxpayers’ money to remember wars that barely even have any significance to us. He rarely even says the word “peace” and refuses to accept the country’s citizens’ wish of keeping ourselves out of the Americans’ wars, to return our soldiers home and to work to clean up the damage afterwards instead of creating it.
This only reminds me of the silent, grassroots war waged everyday against those that still believe that there meal is meant to be cruel; the war waged against those that carelessly destroy nature, pollute water and contaminate the air for the sake of profit; and the war waged against hunger and extreme poverty.
Please take a minute to remember those that died at the hands of corporate greed and pray for peace.
Image credit: Tobias Akerboom (at hutmeelz)