This week I had the opportunity to attend the United Way Ottawa Community Builder Awards Gala. This morning I woke up inspired and energized. We We heard stories about and speeches from nine inspiring community leaders who were recognized as community builders for the work they do to make Ottawa a better place.
My Grandfather’s 50th anniversary Battle of the Atlantic tie, which I wear every Nov. 11
Today is Remembrance Day in Canada. Today is the day when we pause to reflect on the horrors of war and the benefits of peace. We pause to remember those who put their lives on the line to defend us and serve wherever we send them to stand up for our values. As individuals we may not always agree with the decisions made by governments about how our military personnel are deployed. As a country we can all respect and honour those who stand up for the rest of us.
Today I will remember my Grampy who served in the British Merchant Marine throughout the duration of the second world war and survived several sinkings by u-boats. I will remember my Nanny and her sisters who lived in London, England during the war and most especially survived the blitz, including the destruction by bombing of half of the street where they lived. I think of my cousin in England who is terrified of fireworks because they remind her of the bombs that fell on London when she was a child. I think of my great-uncle who likely went down with his ship and was never found. I think of my wife’s great-uncle who was a fighter pilot and survived as a prisoner-of-war in the camp made famous in the movie “The Great Escape”. He was fortunate to have been too far back in the line to escape and as a result survived the war.
I will think of all the Canadian men and women who have served our country in various wars and peacekeeping missions. I think of the veterans who return home with physical and/or mental injuries. I think of those who die by suicide as a result of the injuries suffered during the course of their service. I think of the military families and the sacrifices that they make on our behalf.
Most years I attend the national remembrance service at the War Memorial in Ottawa. This year I will instead be at the ceremony at my children’s school. Last year I attended and discovered a room of hope for peace. Children from all over the world, some of whom have known war and others who have only experienced peace. Together they will sing and speak about peace. They give me hope. I will think of them too and hope for their future.
I will remember, not just today, but all days.
I live in Ottawa. It is our Nation’s Capital and that is important.
More importantly it is the city where my wife and have chosen to raise our family and make our home.
Today someone decided to kill a soldier and attack Parliament Hill – the seat of our democracy. Some are suggesting that he was radicalized and acting at the behest of the so-called Islamic State in Iraq. Some news outlets are reporting his name and indicating that he was Canadian-born and had converted to Islam. Before I go further I have a few thoughts on that. [Read more…]
“They may take our lives, but they will never take our FREEDOM!”
They what? They voted no?
Oh right, well then, jolly good. [Read more…]
Yesterday Maclean’s Magazine broke a story about a woman claiming to be Senator Mike Duffy’s unacknowledged daughter. Other media outlets are – predictably – referring to this woman as his “love child” and Duffy himself is saying that the story is inaccurate and is a 30 year old story.
First off, let me say that I think “love child” while it is used as a pejorative term is a term that we really should be applying to all children. Who wouldn’t want to be a child of love? [Read more…]