(Victoria Tronina/Unsplash)

OUR VIEW: Honour Surrey’s veterans, but remember your duty too

Voting, and safeguarding free speech, freedom of mobility, the right to free association and public assembly number among them

John Andrew “Dutch” McLellan, at the age of 101, finally got his medals – the France and Germany Star and the 1939-1945 War Service Medal – for serving his country during the Second World War.

Why it took 74 years is a telling testimony to his attitude.

“I never applied for them because I was just doing my job,” he explains.

READ ALSO: 101-year-old Langley soldier receives service medals three quarters of a century after World War II

Indeed, it’s a reminder to all of us as Remembrance Day approaches this coming Monday, Nov. 11 that we, too, have a job to do.

Part of that job, of course, is to remember with appreciation and hold dear the sacrifices so many thousands of young Canadians made on numerous battlefields, in numerous wars and peace-keeping missions, worldwide.

But another important job is to not only remember, but also act upon our sacred duty, as John McCrae wrote in Flanders Fields in 1915, to “take up” their “quarrel with the foe.”

This means to recognize that the spirit of Remembrance Day should live not only on Nov. 11 but all 365 days of the year.

It is our duty, day after day, year after year, to protect the democratic institutions and ideals for which so many, in air and on land and sea, sacrificed so much to protect.

Voting in elections, and safeguarding free speech, the freedom of mobility, and the rights of free association and public assembly number among them.

This is not just the stuff of slogans, but precious principles which all of us as Canadians have a duty to protect today and always.

Freedoms that so many citizens who came before us held so important, they shielded them with flesh and blood.

Perhaps our greatest foe today is apathy.

Now-Leader



edit@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Education minister announces new South Surrey elementary school

Additions at two elementary schools also announced

Liquor permission considered for White Rock’s Memorial Park

Council mulls business-boosting measures, including picnic benches

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Delta council approves plan to reopen city facilities

Next phase of plan includes outdoor pools, summer day camps, outdoor fitness programs

March dental conference key to many of B.C.’s COVID-19 cases

Early infections from China, Iran were quickly contained

VIDEO: Pitt Meadows dentist gets grand welcome home after two-month COVID-19 battle

Michael Chow was given a surprise send off by hospital staff and ‘welcome home’ from neighbours

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Stray dog with duct tape around muzzle spotted in Abbotsford

Pooch has been spotted over two days, but has escaped capture so far

Seniors to receive up to $500 in promised COVID-19 emergency aid in early July

The Liberal government first promised the extra help in mid-May, but had to create a new system to deliver the aid

VIDEO: Revelstoke bear wanders into Animal House pet store

Staff got ready to chase it out with a broom

No need to get out of your car at food truck festival in Abbotsford and Langley

Annual event takes drive-thru approach during COVID-19 pandemic

New study is first full list of species that only exist in Canada

Almost 40 per cent of them are critically imperilled or imperilled and eight are already extinct

Most Read

l -->