Remembrance Day

I honour all those who have died in the service of their country. This is a difficult day for me as our party advocates for non-violence.

I look back on my family history and can recount the stories of WWII Germany; a great-grandmother who took her own life from the fear the invading Russians provoked within her, a grandmother who was raped by those same soldiers. A grandfather who lost all faith in God after witnessing the horrors on the battlefield. A young boy who spent a lifetime traumatized by the experience who would go on to become my father.

My husband’s family suffered greatly since WWI, my father-in-law’s family were forced out of Iran in a desperate march to Iraq, along the way two of his sisters died. Cousins killed or missing in action in the Iran/Iraq war. Families torn apart and scattered around the world, their sense of home and community irreparably broken. This story repeats itself across time and space for all of us.

Today there is the looming specter of conflict between the USA and North Korea, a nuclear war a real possibility. So, on this day of Remembrance, let us also remember to give Peace a chance.

Romy Tittel

Leader of the Green Party of Alberta

Comments 6

  • Touching comments on Remembrance Day, Romy. Thank you. Like so many others, my family too was damaged by the horrors of both world wars. Janet

  • Your second sentence detracts from everything.

    • Hi, Loretta. I think readers/viewers would be helped to understand your position if you said a little bit more. Could you expand? I think I understand where you are coming from but I’d like to be sure I do. Thanks, Janet

  • In response to my comment above I feel the second sentence in Romy’s statement detracts because Remembrance Day is in honor of all those who have given their lives for freedom. I also feel because of this day we do not need to promote the green party as being a peace party. Most everyone already knows this. I do not have any intent to hurt Romy nor her statement in anyway. One of my uncles from my father’s side served in, I believe the 2nd world war. It is a sad day for everyone. These are simply my thoughts. Thanks.

    • Thanks so much for saying more about your thoughts and feelings, Loretta. I find Remembrance Day a very difficult occasion on which to know what to say. My father — who I only came to understand later in life had been deeply traumatized by his service during WWII — almost never spoke of those years in his life and even more rarely alluded to the worst parts of his war experience. In fact, to us, his immediate family, he never did. And he never waved any flags, nor attended any ceremonies related to the military or the war. He wasn’t anti-military, but he just very badly wanted that part of his life put behind him. So my primary response to Remembrance Day has always been private — for me it’s mostly a time to reflect on how awful people, nations, societies can be to others — to those they see as the other — and how deeply I wish humanity could get beyond that awfulness. And it makes me sad to think of how my father — a sweet, naive young man from Prince Edward Island, was emotionally wounded in having his eyes opened to the horrors of war.

  • Other family members who have served and are serving: my late brother in law Norman MacDouell, his grandson Brandon MacDouell, our nephew Bob Crites, our grandson Jayden Caruthers.

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