Sunday, December 06, 2009

December 6 and Hong Kong

Our Prime Minister should have been in Ottawa on December 6 to honour the 20th Anniversary of the Montreal Massacre. This is a very solemn and significant day for Canadians and the absence of Mr. Harper is deplorable to me. My hopes were never high, but still.

One of my father's good friends when we were growing up was a Canadian soldier in Hong Kong when it fell to the Japanese on Christmas Day 1941. He survived the battle but remained a prisoner of war until liberation in 1945. He and the other Commonwealth POW's were beaten, tortured and starved contrary to international war conventions. He had lifelong health problems from malnutrition and died too young. It chills me to think what went on in his head all those years. I suspect there are a lot of Canadians who have some connection to the battle of Hong Kong. In high school I learned about Dieppe, Vimy Ridge and the Normandy and Sicily campaigns. I had no idea until later in University about the Honk Kong veterans.

I welcome the Canadian Prime Minister visiting the Cenotaph in Hong Kong and paying formal respects to our war dead. However, I would prefer that he avoided the hyper-nationalistic manipulation of war imagery. I would prefer that he stop using slanderous rhetoric and smearing Canadians who want to know the truth about detainee issues in Afghanistan. Soldiers, dead or alive are not visuals to be used casually for self aggrandizement.

I don't think our Prime Minister gets the meaning of our history. Please recommend this post

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