Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Honour Our Vets by Helping Them

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Honour Our Vets by Helping Them

Article excerpt

Editorial Exchange: Honour our vets by helping them


An editorial from the Waterloo Region Record, published May 9:

The Canadian government made a fine gesture when it proclaimed today's National Day of Honour for everyone who fought for this country in Afghanistan.

But the ceremonies being held across the land are a small and insufficient payment toward the larger debt Canada owes the men and women who wore its uniform, endured so many risks and made so many sacrifices for its sake.

Unless the parades, speeches and flag-waving are followed by generous financial support and effective medical aid, the noble words spoken today will ring hollow, the pomp and formalities will be no more than empty show. We can't let that happen. Yet since the last Canadian troops returned from Afghanistan in March, there has been a danger that the 12 years of blood, sweat, toil and tears expended by our military would be quickly, carelessly forgotten.

Perhaps this is because the conflict was so far away and dragged on for so long without a clear victory for Canada and its NATO and Afghan allies. Maybe it is because this was not a conventional war that pitted the armies of one nation against another on open battlefields. It was, instead, a grim and gritty counter-insurgency affair, waged against foes who were clad in no recognizable uniform and preferred the tactics of hit-and-run ambush, suicide-bombing and hidden roadside explosives.

Faced with this, and in the defence of global security, the Canadian military performed admirably and accomplished much. By helping to unseat the Taliban regime and neutralize its al-Qaida clients, Canada's troops made North America a safer place. After the devastating Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist assaults on the United States, these alone are deeds worth cherishing.

So yes, we should recognize the 40,026 Canadians who served in Afghanistan in this cause. …

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