EDITORIAL: We owe our freedoms to Canada’s war dead

Once again we turn our thoughts on Remembrance Day to the men, women and children killed in the two terrible world wars and other armed conflicts involving our citizens.

The numbers of military deaths alone in the First World War and Second World War is unfathomable.

In the first, when Canada had 7.2 million citizens, the nation recorded somewhere between 56,639 and 64,990 military deaths.

And in the second, with a general population of 11.2 million, Canada recorded 45,400 military deaths.

Lest we forget, many of these people died to defend a political system wherein citizens can actually cast a vote in a general election.

Many people living elsewhere in the world do not have any say whatsoever in whom their political leaders will be.

Sadly, many Canadians no longer believe it’s worth their bother to vote.

They rationalize their abstinence by buying into the idea that an individual vote doesn’t count for much anyway.

Merely a drop in the pond.

In truth, it is indeed difficult not to be cynical when our political leaders so often let us down.

But remember, the many who died fighting in the wars were not fighting for the preservation of a particular politician or political party, but rather to preserve a system that offers hope for a better way of life.

Our war dead were individuals who made the ultimate personal sacrifice. Each had only one life to give, and they did.

So putting that into perspective, then, is it too much to ask that we as individuals cast our single vote this coming Saturday, in the civic elections?

While it’s of course certainly not as fearsome an act as having to go over the top, getting out there and casting your vote is nevertheless a paramount duty that citizens in a democratic country should not shirk.

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