Remembrance Day is a day for reflection and gratitude for the sacrifices those who serve had made. It is a solemn occasion to stop and take a breath as we pay respect for those who fight for our way of life.
What it shouldn’t be is a platform for speakers to promote their own political views, which is what happened in Airdrie Nov. 11, when retired lieutenant-colonel Al Price took to the stage.
The veteran spent 35 years in the military and did spend time speaking on remembrance. However, the speech took a decidedly political turn when Price began attacking refugee screening, pitting “us” against “them.”
Not only does this show a massive disrespect for those in attendance, but also spits in the face of what Canada is about and, therefore, what our soldiers are fighting to preserve. We have a Multiculturalism Act that recognizes and protects cultural diversity.
We aren’t denying there is a problem with Border Services being overwhelmed by the mass number of asylum seekers entering Canada. But the time and place for that discussion is not at a Remembrance Day ceremony.
As for the Airdrie Legion, which puts on the event, event chairman Bill Dunbar said it never asks to see a speakers speech before the event.
“Is that the place to say it? That’s always a question mark,” Dunbar said.
“It is about Remembrance and a lot of (what Price said) was from his own experiences and his own concerns.”
We aren’t suggesting the Legion censor speakers but perhaps it should establish some guidelines on what is appropriate for the occasion.