Every November, Canadian schoolchildren are encouraged, persuaded, inticed and/or forced to memorize Lt.Col. John McCrae’s poem “In Flanders’ Fields”. (Parents of schoolage kids – is this still a requirement?) Every November, Canadian war vetrans march through the streets to the local cenotaph and lay wreaths in memory of their fallen friends. Every November, regardless of our personal opinions, convictions or reservations about war itself, we are encouraged to show honour, respect and gratitude to those individuals who have fought, suffered and died for our safety and freedom. This November, I hope you’ll sign a petition calling on the Prime Minister to offer a State Funeral to the family of the last veteran of the First World War resident in Canada. Only three Canadian veterans of the First World War remain. They are 106 and 105 years of age. You can find the petition here: www.dominion.ca/statefuneral .
After years of learning it, we should all remember the end of McCrae’s poem… “If ye break faith with us who die/We shall not sleep though poppies grow/in Flanders’ Fields”. Neither should we break faith with those who survived fighting in Flanders’ Fields. It’s the least we can do.