I am a pacifist…
… I detest war and its machinery. I hate the glorification of war or the use of the military as a political tool.
I see no need for guns in modern society except for those carried by police. I like the idea of banning them altogether but know that this is not likely to happen in my lifetime.
So, you’d think that I would applaud the recent decision by Notre Dame High School in Ottawa to ban guns and tanks from their traditional Remembrance Day Symposium.
I do not.
For the past 19 years, students at an Ottawa high school have hoisted 10-pound military rifles to feel what it may be like to lug one around in the muddy trenches. They’ve met veterans and heard their stories, learning how their families were affected and what it was like to fight so far from home.
The traditional school event, scheduled for Nov. 10, has been cancelled because of a school committee decision to ensure there were “no tanks or guns” at the event, its co-ordinator told participants in an email last Friday.
This is, in effect, introducing a revisionist view of history. By touching tanks, carrying rifles and the like, students were able to gain a keener and realistic interpretation of war and the machinery of conflict… and of the people who suffered through war for their nations – agree with the reasons or not.
During the day-long event, students would move from classroom to classroom, hear stories from veterans and historians and get to touch military uniforms and equipment. They often have many questions, he said, questions that can’t possibly be answered during a ceremony — which is still planned for Nov. 11 at Notre Dame High.
Mr. Mac Culloch (the teacher that organised the event) doesn’t think that’s good enough.
“Monuments are wonderful, remembrance ceremonies are helpful, but if that was all that we needed for an education, then a teacher could stand up at the front and describe how arithmetic works and leave it at that,” he said.
“If it’s not good enough for arithmetic, why is it good enough for remembrance?”
I detest war and its machinery. And that is why it is vital that our young must be exposed to its veterans and its machinery. It becomes more “real”. If we just leave remembrance to wreath laying ceremonies, the young will soon forget and we again run the risk of sending our children off to far away lands to suffer as those in the past suffered.
We must not forget…. so that someday war and its machinery become as extinct as the dodo. We simply must not…