Honouring our veterans is important, and necessary

Let us use Remembrance Day to remind us how terrible the costs of war are rather than to glorify it

To the editor;

On Tuesday I’ll head down to the Remembrance Day ceremonies along with much of Kamloops. I believe that honouring our veterans is important, and necessary. Considering what our veterans have done for us, spending one morning each year to specifically mark the sacrifices that they have made is an easy decision. I wish I could have shared one of these days with my Grandpa, but even if he were alive today I know that he would want no part in it.Shortly before the Christmas of 2011 was the very first time I heard my Grandpa talk about the war. After he passed away I would learn that he was a gunner in a tank. His Battalion saw a great deal of action in Italy, and ended the war in Holland. We found dozens of old photos he had kept stored away, reminders of rare happy moments with friends in his Squadron. The human connections he made were what helped him get through the war.We know that war profoundly affects those who experience it. We know that my Grandpa wasn’t alone. Many veterans refuse to attend Remembrance Day ceremonies. They often view the ceremonies as a glorification of war, and a celebration of the ‘nobility of conflict’. We also know that there is nothing noble about war.It would be nice to honour our veterans and their families all year round by advocating for them. Many veterans have received inadequate, if any treatment for issues such as PTSD. Instead of receiving the treatment they need, many of our veterans have seen their support services clawed back. Wounded veterans have been discharged because they are ?unfit to deploy? shortly before their pension eligibility.Let us use Remembrance Day to remind us how terrible the costs of war are rather than glorify any misguided sense of ‘the nobility of conflict’. I will personally fight for peace by remembering veterans, like my Grandpa, and the price he and his friends paid to afford us our freedoms.

Tyler Carpentier

Kamloops