“Freedom is never free.”
~ ~ ~
(From my 2013 archives)
World War I ended 91 years ago at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. In the ensuing years we have gathered at that moment to remember and honour those who, in all wars, have served in the pursuit of freedom.
One troop commander in Kandahār, Afghanistan commented this morning, “We remember our fallen every day,” and for the families of those who have died this is undoubtedly true for them, too.
In my family I think of my father-in-law, Edison Garvin, who fought in WWI at Vimy Ridge, and of my father, Jack McGuire, and an uncle, Harry McGuire, whose service was during WWII in Canada. I have little knowledge of their military memories because they seldom mentioned their war experiences. None lost their lives in war but they are gone now. On Remembrance Day I simply remember them… the people they were and how we loved them.
I’m ranting today, not once but twice.
The first frustration is war. Since this is Remembrance Day I am remembering not one war but many. I am remembering that over a hundred thousand Canadian lives have been lost in wars. Members of my family have done their part to try and counteract oppression and preserve freedom. But when the present conflict eventually ends, another will undoubtedly rise up to take its place and the killing will continue. I’ve always believed that fighting never solves anything. It only proves who is the biggest bully. We yearn for peace but don’t know how to achieve it. If only all of mankind would stop and listen to that “still small voice”—the one telling us how real peace will be found.
The second frustration is ineffective service. I’m having wireless internet problems this week, unable to maintain and now even obtain a signal wirelessly on my laptop computer. After first contacting our server and determining that the modem is working well, I contacted the company who makes my Belkin wireless router. That person, while probably a competent technician, had such a heavy accent that I could not understand much of what he said. I struggled to decipher and comply with his various instructions but when the technician was ready to take his leave I wasn’t confident that the problem had been solved. It hadn’t. Within seconds of terminating the call, I was back offline. And so the router is disconnected and our three computers are presently taking turns accessing the internet by being directly plugged into the modem, one at a time, until I muster the courage to phone for Belkin tech support once more. I’m not ready to face that frustration again quite yet.
Instead I’m going to retreat to the kitchen and bake our Christmas fruitcakes. I don’t need a techie’s assistance to do that job successfully, and while I assemble the ingredients I’m going to listen to Christmas carols – the ones that proclaim “Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men”!