On November 11th, Canadians, and other members of the Commonwealth, celebrate Remembrance Day to pay tribute to fallen soldiers from all conflicts. At the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, a moment of silence is observed to coincide with the time at which the Armistice that ended World War I was signed in 1918.
Remembrance Day is Canada’s answer to the United States’ Memorial Day. Marked by the symbol of the poppy and the phrase “Lest we forget,” it’s one of the rare occasions where Canada’s veterans are given the gratitude and appreciation that they deserve.
This year marked a new and disgusting chapter for the occasion as the Remembrance Day in Toronto, Canada’s largest city, was interrupted by a group of protestors from Occupy Toronto. The disturbance took place during the minute of silence thousands of veterans, servicemen and civilians were partaking in outside Toronto’s Old City Hall this morning.
The dozen protestors were attempting hijacking the ceremony to express their disdain for Canada’s involvement in the War in Afghanistan, as well as to advocate for better treatment of Canada’s Native population.
Fortunately, they were vastly outnumbered and escorted away from the event.
Regardless, it’s worth noting that Remembrance Day has always been a day in which members of all parties, races, creeds and faiths have come together not to celebrate war, but to celebrate sacrifice and say ‘Thank you’ to the men and women who put their lives on the line–many of which were lost–for us to enjoy our freedom. Our freedom to protest a Remembrance Day ceremony, even.
To say these ignorant, pathetic Occupiers were biting the hand that fed them is an understatement. This goes beyond misunderstanding and broaches the line of maliciousness. A deliberate and calculated rejection of a generation that was prepared to give everything they could for my generation to live freely.
They could have made their point at any minute of any day of any month, but they chose one exact moment: November 11, 2012, at 11:00am.
The price of freedom has been paid many times over by individuals brave than I. That freedom was also granted today to 12 members of Occupy Toronto who place their own self-righteousness on a higher plane than true bravery. No veteran would have it any other way, either.