In the final year of the Great War, prior to the battle of Amiens, a significantly demoted Lieutenant-Colonel Winston Churchill inspected the troops who would shortly thereafter be putting their lives on the line. Among them was one Corporal Thomas Ethelbert Willerton, a young man who would a few days later be lying on his back in a field of French mud with a goodly portion of his face blown off.
A piece of Tom’s hip would become his jaw before he returned home and married his sweetheart, Ruby. The couple would go on to have five children. Their eldest son would marry and have four children of his own. Number four is free to write this column today because of the sacrifice of his grandfather and the tens of thousands of Canadians just like him who were willing to risk life and limb for the freedom of future generations. And it is to preserve that freedom that we do what we do.
Now we don’t, generally speaking, (yet) put our lives on the line in the defence of freedom, but we do sacrifice our hard-earned dollars and put our reputations on the line when we stand up for or otherwise support the Christian Heritage Party. Our forbears put their lives on the line in their fight against tyranny. We, alternatively, fight against tyrannical ideologies that want to silence us and destroy our families and our way of life.
We’re not winning by the way, but neither was Churchill after being demoted from First Lord of the Admiralty after heavy losses of men and materiel at Gallipoli in 1915. Nor did he win points between the wars when he continually warned his fellow countrymen about Nazi Germany’s aggressive intent. And nor could then Prime Minister Churchill in any way be described as ‘winning’ WWII prior to the Allied invasion of France in 1944.
Nor, for that matter, was Abraham Lincoln ‘winning’ the American Civil War prior to the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863. In fact the Union army had lost every skirmish until that point.
Things looked bleak for both men, but what made both Lincoln and Churchill the men that they were was that they never, ever gave up. And nor should we. They were standing up for what was right, and we should do no less.
Their enemies carried guns. Ours carry pens with which they write destructive policies which destroy lives every bit as effectively as those guns.
Someone needs to stand up for the unborn, for our indoctrinated youth, for the infirm and for our elderly who built this country. No one else is doing so in the political realm. It’s up to us. Granted, we’ve lost every skirmish to date, but that doesn’t mean we’ll lose the next one.
“It was for freedom that Christ set us free” (Gal 5:1). If freedom is worth dying for it’s most certainly worth fighting for, and that includes the freedoms of the most vulnerable for whom we labour.
On November 11th we honour those who gave their lives for our freedom to stand up for and speak the truth. I believe we honour them by doing so.
Other Commentary by Jeff Willerton: