Lest We Forget – to keep faith.

I am posting this just before Remembrance Day simply to give a little perspective on the ceremonies many of us will either be attending or viewing.  I am always moved by the ceremony at the magnificently beautiful cenotaph in Ottawa but as recent years roll by I cannot help but ponder the true motives of Government ministers who so humbly pay tribute to those who fought and died for the Peace and Liberty symbolized by the angel figures at the top of the memorial.

File:Top of National War Memorial.jpg

At ceremonies all over the country elderly veterans will present sincere and emotional readings of John McCrae‛s great poem, In Flanders Fields, giving earnest emphasis to the final verse.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow.

Are we breaking faith?

Instead of trying to answer that question myself, I suggest we follow this link to an article by Winnipeg writer Frances Russell . Writing with clarity and passion she gives a useful perspective on Canada‛s progress concerning the Peace and Liberty for which so many died.

Lest we forget.


About Munroe Scott

Munroe Scott is a veteran of the freelance writing world.
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3 Responses to Lest We Forget – to keep faith.

  1. Munroe
    Thank you for directing your readers to Frances Russell’s article — it does give one pause to ask why we send citizens to war. But the focus for Sunday (Remembrance Day) properly rests on the men and women who are put in harm’s way.

    You draw our attention to the two ‘angels’ at the top of the War Memorial in Ottawa. In Rome they were Victoria — or rather the Spirit of Victory, for they often appeared in pairs at the top of monuments or in the corners of friezes. At least one Ottawa ‘angel’ represents Victory because she holds the wreath of the victor, just as the Roman Victorias did. Victoria played a much greater role in the political life of Rome than Nike, her Greek ancestor, did in Greece. Nike was friend to Athena and apparently stood next to her in the Parthenon.

    So the Greek Nike supported Athena, the godly embodiment of wisdom, justice and democracy. Not so the Roman Victory who celebrated the defeat of others. And not so the Harper government, whose Canada is a warrior nation and who celebrates conflict even as it shuns the veterans it has put in harm’s way. The ‘angels’ of our War Memorial beg us to ask, “What are we celebrating on Sunday, the peace hard won by citizens in arms or the glory of country victorious in war?”

    Allow me to direct you and your readers to another time — the Crimean War — and introduce you to the bitter trail of broken men of the Light Brigade and the Thin Red Line who served another Victoria and were also fodder for the glory of country … http://jdavidmclaren.wordpress.com/.


    • Munroe Scott says:

      David, thanks for your comments. However, when you say “But the focus for Sunday (Remembrance Day) properly rests on the men and women who are put in harm’s way” do I understand you to be reprimanding me for suggesting, by implication, that they may have died in vain? That will be the case if we break the faith and let Harper continue unchecked.
      I stand corrected on the angels. They are indeed, as you say, Victory and Liberty, not Peace and Liberty — although one always hopes that Victory leads to Peace.
      Your posting re the Crimean War was interesting and timely. I meant to respond to it. What a frightening picture to see that road littered with cannonballs and to think of “the Charge”.

      • Munroe:
        No, no reprimand was intended. Besides, I don’t think any death is in vain. Death in vanity, for the pride of vainglorious leaders, is another matter. That’s what I’m on about.

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