Candian writer David Warren calls on us to remember them, we who live today, as the sacrifice they made lives on in the freedoms we hold.
The struggle for freedom is a daily duty to us who live free. There is much wrong in this country when power is so readily abused by those given access to the coercive power of the state and tread over the rights of the people. It is always imperative on individuals placed in such positions of power to be cognizant of the danger to the liberty of the individual, and to constrain themselves. Such wisdom is seldom found amongst those who covet political power, and it falls upon us, the people, to vigorously demand that the freedoms of each and all of us be respected.
"Take up our quarrel with the foe." The words, in that instance, could be taken to refer to the Germans, for they were the proximate enemy in the eastern part of the Ypres salient, where the 1st Canadian Division made its stand. And the body of McCrae's dear friend, Alexis Helmer -- the immediate inspiration for the poem -- was blown to bits by an artillery shell, not by some philosophical abstraction.
Yet the quarrel remains in every generation. So long as we live in freedom on this Earth, we must confront those who would enslave us; and when we cease, our freedom also ceases.
To coerce is the way of governments. Though governments are necessary, they are best seen as a necessary evil. They are never rightly seen as a necessary good, for ultimately they are always at odds with the freedom of the individual. Sadly, this truth appears utterly lost upon those now in power that seek to rule over the people rather than merely govern the free people that live here.
David Warren's is an excellent piece that I cannot do justice. Read the rest of it here.