We’ve watched “Flags of Our Fathers” this weekend that has been disturbing me since. I’ve been thinking about the reason why. Besides the obvious reason of not understanding so much hatred towards people (because of religious beliefs, colour etc.) I realised that what was bugging me was something else.
One of the things I hate about a lot of people nowadays is the fact that they don’t take responsibilities for their actions. A lot of us expect the government, our officials, or even society in general to “think” for us. We relinquish our powers, our ability to think and to do something. Granted, it is much easier to deal with, than having to think for ourselves. A while back I had seen this reportage about parents of military guys. They had interviewed this mother who was all pro-war, and about how wonderful the army had been for her son. The reporter went back a few months later, after her son had been killed in the Middle East. By then she had turned anti-Bush, anti-war, and the army was the worst thing ever. I don’t get that. I really don’t. The army didn’t change. Their weapons have, the way they fight as well, but the fact remains the same; in a war people die.
I don’t want to offend anybody, nor do I want to diminish in anyway what’s happening but I have to say it. Last week there were a lot of newscasts about this military guy, from the Valcartier base who died in Afghanistan. It was all over the news. His death brought the total number of Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan since the mission began in 2002 to 77. We are in a war, and 77 soldiers are dead. Seventy-seven. Why are we making such a big deal about this? Those men were volunteers; they didn’t joined because they had to but because they chose to. When I think about all the men who died during WWII, not by choice, but because their country told them to… I can’t help to wonder if during those years if every single death created such turmoil… I have my doubts about that. Don’t get me wrong; I’m thankful there are men & women out there willing to do this for my, our protection. This weekend I couldn’t help to feel as if the lives of all those fallen before weren’t as “valuable” as those of today’s soldiers. That seriously bothers me. I’ve been to Pearl Harbour and was moved. There was something there that I had not felt before. I’m happy I went and paid my respect to those valiant, courageous people. They deserve as much respect and “publicity” as today’s soldiers.
When I think of Normandie or even Iwo Jima, I can't help to think of the carnage those guys ran into, and yet...I can't hep to think that it is amazing that since 2002 only 77 soldiers lost their lives in Afghanistan. Are we that naïve that we don’t expect our soldiers to get shot at nor to die? Why is it that we, as a nation, find ourselves at war, and expect no casualties? Why is that?