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Commentary

Canada — the “Friend with a pickup-truck”

Fri, June 07, 2019   |   Author: Peter Vogel   |   | Share: Facebook | Twitter   

Looking back at the events which commemorated D-Day yesterday, but especially back to D-Day itself, we see that Canada was—and is— the kind of friend that everyone needs. The kind of friend who comes with his pickup-truck to help you out when you need it most.

How many people are there who don’t have a good friend like that, someone whom they can rely on? Plenty, I’m sure. How many friends do we have that mean well and try hard, but are not able to really help in a time of need? Nations can be like that, too. Some nations are friendly toward Canada, but would be of little assistance should Canada ever need help, especially of the military kind.

But in the first half of the last century, Canada was the kind of friend that everyone needs from time to time. Strong, capable, energetic, and not lacking in resources. If you have a friend like this in your life, be thankful. Not everyone does.

Canada’s list of needy friends was long: Great Britain, France, Holland, Belgium, and yes, Italy too (though they got into the war on the wrong side). Canada came in with more than just a “pickup-truck” we came with trained troops for all arenas of battle — air, sea, and land (in two World Wars).

While the death toll of Canadian troops who landed in France was 359 on June 6th 1944, over 2,000 died in the following days during the Battle of Normandy. As tragic as this was for each of the families who lost loved ones, the military operation was a success as the Nazis were slowly beaten back from their fortified positions.

Let us never forget the high price that was paid for freedom.

Canada was then a country and friend that gave much without asking much in return. I myself am in the debt of the Canadian soldiers who liberated my ancestors in Holland. I have been able, over the years, to personally thank a few veterans who fought there. But there are few left, and they are elderly.

They did their part for my freedom and yours, and now the question comes to each of us — especially those of us who did not have to fight to enjoy the benefits of freedom: what are we doing to preserve freedom for ourselves — and for others?

Would we be willing to sacrifice what we have to restore freedom for others?

Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth, rightly said that her generation, the wartime generation, was resilient. At age 93 she stood outside to make her short speech, and delivered it as clearly as someone half her age. But will those of us who are closer to 39 than 93 be as resilient as that generation? Will we “take up the quarrel with the foe” as Canadians did in both World Wars?

Our struggle to preserve essential freedoms is also real, though it is thankfully not as bloody. The complacency of many in the post-war years has left Canada with an eroding foundation where rights are talked about, but freedom not so much, and responsibility least of all.

“Duty to country” was the hallmark of the wartime generation. This must be remembered and taken to heart by the generations that are growing up or growing old in relative peace and security.

Canada is still a beacon of hope, a destination for many from all over the world. But Canada is more than a great piece of real estate to come and live on — it is a country with a history of valour, a spirit of bravery, and a tradition of helping those in need.

Canada must not forget its heroic history.

Remember this history, teach it — and its lessons — to the next generation, so that they might become as dutiful and resilient in its defence of freedom as those who stormed the beaches of Normandy.

Please consider joining CHP as we seek to honour Canada’s heritage that was based on the Judaeo-Christian ethic. It was the strength of faith for many that allowed them to stare death in the face on the battlefield and not give up. Prayers were offered here in Canada for their lives and for the victory. It is significant that the graves of many who paid the highest price on those battlefields far away are marked by crosses.

May God bless our efforts to stand up in the political realm for the freedom that cost so many so much.



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