Dear Editor:

Risking death in the promise of a better future for our children and generations to come is possibly the most courageous and selfless thing I can think of. Our veterans went through hell for us. It should be our job to take care of those who fought for us, protect the freedom they fought for, and make sure theyre never needed again. Promoting war will never accomplish this.

I recently heard a poem recited during the Edgewater Remembrance Day service, which stated that the only people who ever fought for freedom were soldiers. In the poem, every type of person who could be thrown in the category of civil activism was listed and it was said that they never fought for freedom.

Womens rights, childrens rights, minority rights, aboriginal rights, worker rights, gay rights, citizen rights, the Charter of Rights. These freedoms were not gained by fighting for our government, but by standing up to it.

Theres no denying that the Legion has done a lot to help our veterans, where our country has failed. If it wasnt for the Legion, our veterans wouldnt receive many of the services they so desperately need. That being said, war is not a good thing, and will never give us peace and freedom. Battles fought and the horrible sacrifices experienced, should be remembered, and learned from, so they may never happen again. War is the opposite of peace. The only reason war exists is because of lack of civil action. The repression of individualism and civil society outside the state is fascism. If we add the idolization and the promotion of war to that, its even more so. The hunger of war is self-perpetuating and the only way to be rid of it is to starve it.

Dictators and armies can be defeated, but if the repressive ideas they stood for live on, there is no victory, only defeat. The real war is for hearts and minds. You can beat someone into temporary submission, but you cannot beat anyone into liking or agreeing with you. The only way that can be achieved is though empathy and reason. Armies should be for last line self-defence and prevention of genocide; anything more only gives our adversaries a reason to hate and fight us.

The truth is, peace and freedom are the responsibility of everyone, not just soldiers, and we shouldnt let anyone tell us otherwise.

Doug Diamond

Radium Hot Springs