In my home country, Canada, November 11 is Remembrance Day. Here in the US where I live it is Veterans Day. By whichever name you call it, I hope you’ll take some time to think about the sacrifice that men and women made in various conflicts, police actions, and all out wars to protect against despots and dictators and just plain wrong thinking toward people regarded as undeserving.
I’ll spend some time engrossed with Remembrance Day activities in Canada sitting in front of the TV as the CBC broadcasts from Ottawa and other places across Canada. I’ll get teary eyed as ordinary people lay their red poppies, that they’ve worn for many days, on tombs of unknown soldiers, signifying honor paid. I’ll think of my own son, still with us, body still whole, spirit still strong, who willingly went to Afghanistan to spend a year working on behalf of ordinary people who just want to be free of the harsh control of the Taliban. I’ll remember several uncles who served during WW2, who survived in mind and body. And I’ll think of those who went and never came back. I’ll try in the days following to be grateful and like many I’ll probably fail to keep at it. I’m sorry about that.
In a very important way, to me at least, I have given credit to members of the military by making several characters, in The Chechen’s Revenge, former soldiers returned to duty as they work to combat terrorism in Canada. By having characters with previous military service be reinstated and given brevet rank my intent was to recognize their important service in some small way. I gave these characters brevet rank as a way of remarking that their service given is worth more than ordinary rank earned.
I urge you all to take note of the Red Poppy and cherish the notion that it’s a symbol that only seeks to honor brave men and women who gave service on our behalf. I also urge you to find the poem “In Flanders Fields” by Canadian Physician Lt. Col. John McCrae, to read it and reflect upon the meaning it ought to have for each of us.
Good reading friends and thanks for your support.
Ron Stotyn, PhD