Place to air opinions not at a public ceremony
Thursday, Nov 30, 2017 06:00 am
RE: “Intent was not to offend but stands by words,” letter, Nov. 23.
Unlike many other countries around the world, Canadians enjoy the fundamental freedom of self-expression. In his Letter to the Editor, retired lieutenant-colonel Al Price rightly stated in defense of his Remembrance Day address, others “have a right to their opinion, as do I”.
As a democratic country the Canadian Government makes decisions on what missions and roles the whole of the three branches of Canadian Forces will take on and fulfill. Military members are duty bound to implement those directives and successfully complete the mission – regardless of their opinion about the mission, the objective and how it is rolled out.
For me, Remembrance Day is primarily a time to honour my Grandfather, who served on the Western Front in France as an Infantry solder the First World War and on the Home Guard in the Second World War. As a 27-year Canadian Forces veteran, it’s also the time to remember and honour my friends and colleagues.
From my perspective, the impact of Price’s address was diminished by the inclusion of his personal opinions of governmental management of the Canadian Forces and policies regarding refugee screening, etcetera. The place to air personal opinions is with your colleagues at the mess, the legion, the coffee shop, the smoker, the gym – not a public civic ceremony.
“…Theirs not to make reply, theirs not to reason why, theirs but to do and die” - The Charge of the Light Brigade, 1854, Alfred Lord Tennyson
Warrant Officer, Retired