A year ago this week I sat down to write my annual reflection on Remembrance Day with a heavy heart still burdened by the memory of the tragic events in Ottawa and Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu. It wasn’t difficult to feel the poignancy of a day dedicated to remembering those who gave their lives in service of our country so soon after such troubling times.
This year, however, I’m struck by how different the tenor of debate is. We’ve just emerged from a long and contentious election campaign in which the rhetoric of war was coopted by the public discourse – war rooms were set up; battleground ridings were fought over; a victor was ultimately declared.
And as our nation tries to heal the political wounds of the past months and years, I can think of no more opportune time to attempt to restore the true meaning of these words in the memory of those who truly fought for our freedom and died in often hellish conditions.
We are fortunate to live in a country where we can apply the language of war to our elections because so few of us have truly experienced what war is. We owe a debt of gratitude to those who came before and guaranteed us the freedom to raise our voices for causes we care about and cast our ballots in peace.
As federal public servants and employees of NAV Canada, we are fortunate enough to be given time off to observe Remembrance Day. I encourage all of you to go to your local cenotaph or community gathering place for the ceremonies tomorrow.
Lest we forget.
Milt Isaacs, CPA, CMA, CPFA
President, Association of Canadian Financial Officers