Ottawa events a reminder of the debt we owe to those who serve

Deadline day has rolled around again.

Treena Mielke

Black Press

Deadline day has rolled around again.

It is the 11th hour of that dreaded day and my eyes are downcast, my hands on my computer screen and my brain whirring as I struggle to come with a column idea.

Usually, as I write and re-write about the ups and downs of the merry-go-round of my life, I find it relatively easy to discover a happy moment, a ray of sunshine, or, if all else fails, I make something up.

Consequently, my hope is that my readers and I will both feel better!

But today, nothing cheerful or particularly lighthearted comes to mind, as I find myself, like Canadians everywhere, struggling to come to grips with the senseless killing of the Canadian soldier that took place in Ottawa last week.

As I heard the news on CBC Radio, the thought slammed into my gut that life is unfair; so unfair.

And we as Canadians are immune to nothing.

The kid was 24-years-old. Still wet behind the ears, as they say. I thought about his mom, wherever she may be, and how she would weep as only a mother can when she heard the news.

I felt tears prick my own eyes as I thought of a young man, doing his duty as honour guard, a young man who had, not all that long ago, been only a boy.

And I thought of countless Remembrance Day ceremonies I have covered, paying tribute to all the young men and women who gave their lives for our country.

They fought in war and they fought for peace.

So is this peace?

The announcer on CBC says the soldiers are being advised not to wear their uniforms in public because they could be targets. They could be gunned down.

The actions of one crazed gunman who shot a Canadian soldier point blank was a grim reminder of the thin line between ‘peace and war.’

The shooting which put the entire downtown core of Ottawa in lockdown has brought patriotism to the forefront for many Canadians.

Facebook is filled with quotes reminding us of our proud Canadian heritage.

And everywhere people are talking.

I was in a line up at the grocery store and the lady next to me, a complete stranger who seemed to feel the need to express her feelings to anyone who would listen, plopped her milk and bread on the counter with a vengeance.

Apparently she had heard Ottawa being referred to as Ottawa, Canada, not Ottawa, Ontario, from some news broadcast in the States.

“I tell you, we know a lot more about them than they do about us,” she muttered indignantly.

It is true that news of ‘Canada, our home and native land,’ should be broadcast high on mountaintops and everywhere else people will listen.

There is so much good here.

Our great land is stamped with rivers and lakes and forests that stretch far and wide and are almost spellbinding in their beauty.

We have great and wonderful athletes that have brought us great acclaim in the past and continue to do so. We have amazing sports teams.

We have authors and poets that have allowed us, through their words, to travel to places where we could live happily in our minds for as long as our imagination lets us.

Sadly, however, the incident in Ottawa was a news bulletin that should never have happened, let alone one that should be shared.

And it was a grim reminder never to become complacent about our so-called freedom, or the life we so often take for granted. And it also serves as a reminder of the debt we owe to the young men and women of the past, present and future who chose to wear a uniform and defend their country.

It is an ongoing debt!

 

Just Posted

Another successful year for the Sylvan Lake Charity Check stop

The annual charity drive took place on Dec. 8 on 47 Avenue between Shoppers and McDonald’s.

Spray Park Committee hosting kid friendly New Year’s Eve party

The Sylvan Lake Spray Park Committee is hosting the Kids Countdown Party fundraiser on Dec. 31

Sylvan Lake Grade 6 students learn about municipal government first-hand

Grade 6 students are learning about municipal government and attended Monday’s Council meeting

PHOTOS: A unique set up for Sylvan Lake’s most recent Christmas market

The first annual Stocking Stuffer Market was held on Dec. 8 in the NexSource Centre

PHOTO: Angels Anonymous deliver Christmas toys once again

All the tags from the Angels Anonymous Tree at Dairy Queen have been claimed

WATCH: CP Holiday Train rolls into Lacombe

Kelly Prescott performed for hundreds of Central Albertans

No flood of extremist returnees to Canada expected, federal report says

The report says some 190 people with connections to Canada are suspected of terrorist activity abroad

Canadian physicist who won Nobel Prize touts science for the sake of science

Donna Strickland, 59, said securing the field’s highest honour has given her a significant new platform

Climate change, receding glaciers increase landslide risk on B.C.’s Mount Meager

Climate change is causing glaciers atop Mount Meager, in British Columbia, to shrink increasing the chances of landslides and even a new eruption, says one expert.

UK’s May lobbies EU leaders in fight to save Brexit deal

Top European Union officials ruled out Tuesday any renegotiation of the divorce agreement with Britain.

Former Canadian diplomat detained in China amid rising tensions: reports

A former Canadian diplomat has been arrested in China, according to media reports and the international think tank he works for.

Time magazine’s 2018 person of the year

The group is made up of four journalists and are the “guardians and the war on truth”

Most Read