I had a dream last night. The nightmare of nightmares. In my dream, I woke up in the dark of night from a rather restless sleep to find it had started. The Third World War. I jumped out of bed and threw open the curtains to see the glow of what used to be Ottawa in the distance. It was nuclear. With that, I jerked myself awake for real.
What if… What would we do? How would we react as individuals and as a race? HOW could this happen?
The truth is, we have been close before. Maybe closer than most people are aware, or choose to remember. Not remembering is the trap. If we choose to forget war, forget about the people on all sides who gave up their livelihood or even their lives to go to war, that is when it can happen again.
There are no more Canadian veterans left from the First World War and the numbers of those remaining from the Second World War are dwindling fast. It is these world wars that most people seem to think of first on Remembrance Day. But tragically, war did not start with the first world war, and it did not end with the second. No matter how many times we see how destructive war is, it happens again and again.
Sometimes, it is unavoidable when you have to stop a tyrant or to put an end to unimaginable suffering inflicted on a people. Sometimes, people go to war just for the lust of power.
Worse yet, over the course of human history, many many people have gone to war in the name of their God. I believe that if God were to come back and see the killing that has been done in His/Her name, there would be the devil to pay.
We need to remember all of our veterans. Our country may not actually be at war, but we have peacekeepers in the field, we have troops on the ground in Afghanistan. Our Armed Forces are out there, putting their lives on the line every day in the name of peace.
So, what would you do? This was a subject at our last karate class just before Remembrance Day. Sensie Laurie pointed out that because of our training, it could well fall to us to step up and help. We are trained at a higher level than the general public. We are better conditioned and are trained to function under stress. I hope it never comes to that, but if it does, what would you do?
Always remember those that did step in, those that made the ultimate sacrifice, and pray for them.