Remember those who fight the new fight

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

As I do every year, I spent the morning hours of Remembrance Day huddled among hundreds of my fellow Winnipegers at the Legislative grounds on Memorial Blvd. I've made this a tradition for the last five years. No matter how hectic my life seems to be, this day I reserve to remember those who've sacrificed so much for our country and way of life.  

There's really something to be said about this outdoor ceremony -- which is ironic, because hardly any words are spoken. The cries of the drill sergeants calling out the orders to the cannon gunners are typically the only words heard on this day. There are no speeches. There is no talking. 

This day started and ended as every other Remembrance Day I can recall. There was one noticeable difference, however. Beyond the cannon smoke and early morning fog, in the distance across Broadway Ave, an encampment of tents and people could be seen neatly scattered across the grounds. This grouping -- Occupy Winnipeg -- stood as somewhat of a stark contrast to the tradition and regalia that I was apart of. Upon further introspect, however, the two scenes complemented each other.

Never Again was a motto borne out of the horrors and atrocities of the First World War. Countless amounts of lives were tragically lost during those four years. Sadly, it's taken western society countless other wars to truly learn that lesson. Some may say we still haven't learned anything.

But maybe the people of the Occupy movement have. They're fighting a different fight -- a fight for economic equality. Instead of using guns and bayonets, they're using words and solidarity. 

Will their occupation of Winnipeg's most central locale make any difference? Really, only a fool could believe it so. But, as we take the 11th of November to remember and thank those who've sacrificed life and limb for our soil, it's important to also tip our caps to chose to fight a new fight. A fight without blood shed. A fight without borders.  


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