Wednesday, March 19, 2014
The Meaning of Honour
Ah politics. When the bodies of fallen soldiers were repatriated from Afghanistan they arrived at CFB Trenton, just down the road from Belleville. When the last contingent of military personnel arrived home this week to end the mission they were flown to Ottawa where politicians were on hand to make all the right noises and have all the photos taken. We heard the announcement that May 9th will be a National Day of Honour to recognize our veterans from this war. Prime Minister Harper offered:
On that day, Canada will recognize those who fought, remember those who fell and salute all who contributed.We will stand together and honour the strength of our men and women in uniform, we will honour the strength of the Canadian families who faced heart-wrenching loss, (and) we will honour the strength of our communities that supported them.
Well, maybe not all the right words. What could be said about yet another veteran, possibly two, choosing suicide rather than the pain of PTSD as the last group was making its way back from Afghanistan? And what about the words from federal lawyers refuting a law suit brought by frustrated veterans who feel that they have been cut off from benefits now they are back home?
I wonder if churches across this country should consider Friday, May 9th as an opportunity to offer prayers and sign petitions seeking fair and adequate treatment for those who are called heroes and yet treated as though they are an expensive inconvenience. Why not toll the bells in our church steeples to recognize the price which was paid by these men and women and the price we should be willing to pay as a sign that this is more than lip service?
What do you think? Can faith communities make a difference on behalf of those we say we will honour?