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by John Lawrence

originally published on 
Friday, September 29, 2006

There they were last Friday, thousands of them. I am talking about Canadians, of course. Proud Canadians. All decked in red. (Except for the man who was bad-mouthing our country and who was promptly decked by a young lady in her 20’s.) I must insist at this point that I find that kind of violent response unnecessary, um, almost always.

Well, they are at it again today in Toronto. What two military wives had hoped would be a sign of support for their husbands and for all of our troops around the globe has become a rallying cry to a vast cross-section of our population. It has also increased awareness of just what our troops are actually accomplishing in Afghanistan and is waning the opposition encouraged by so many of our cowardly politicos.

Those in charge of security at today’s rally down at the corner of Dundas and Yonge Streets are sure to be overwhelmed by the outpouring of support that will undoubtedly materialize. How do I know this? Because I know Canada.

While this is fantastic for our troops and for Canada as a whole, (anything that can rally us together as a tight-knit faction is welcome and helpful), it is absolutely devastating for the enemy. The enemy, of course, has many faces. Apathy, oppression, and our current foe, Islamic militancy at home and abroad, and domestic socialism.

While the extremists still have cornerstones such as the New York Times and Times magazine on their side in the U.S., they are losing their propaganda war in Canada. If such a thing can happen here, then it can happen elsewhere. I believe that we are seeing amazing things happen in this country not unlike what England witnessed when her people awoke to the threats facing them from across the English Channel several decades ago. Slowly but surely, those who simply don’t get it are being drowned out or educated.

How does one account for such a turnaround in so short a time? To be sure, the two wives that promoted the Red Friday themes would have never expected the response that we have seen. None of us would have. But there it is. Years of dismal apathy and a lack of thankfulness on the part of Canadians and its press seems to have imploded, resulting in the birth of a new star of hope giving light at the end of our tunnel of despair, despondency, and self-loathing.

I must also mention that it hasn’t only affected those in the populace. It is crossing over into corporate Canada. Greyhound Bus Lines had planned to announce a brand new bus model tomorrow. To do so, they had attained a permit months ago to hold a ceremony at Dundas Square. That just happens to be where the rally for our military will be held at noon. Greyhound holds the permit and therefore has all rights to the Square. In a terrific gesture, Greyhound has gladly handed their permit over to the organizers of Toronto’s rally. Not only patriotic, but a savvy corporate decision.

The Toronto Police Association’s board of directors has cut the cheque to pay for the permit that will replace Greyhound’s. It seems that our municipal soldiers, our policemen, are keen to support our troops as they wage battles across the Atlantic to preserve our way of life and to help the spread of liberty and justice.

Another interesting facet to this story is the recent visit by Afghan president Hamid Karzai. Our troops are, as we speak, battling the foes of Afghanistan so the people of that nation may break the yoke of oppression and war from their shoulders. At the same time, this leader of a seemingly weak nation has done much with his words of encouragement and thanks to free us of the yoke of our bondage, that being indifference and the guilt complex that so many have tried to convince us to adopt. Perhaps we are freeing each other’s nations at the same time.

So, this morning, go through your closet. Wear something red. Show your support and feel good at the same time. Those who have insulted our men and women by comparing them to terrorists have had their time and press. Nobody heard them. Those who have repeatedly called for us to abandon our U.N. mission like cowards have had their say. Those who have us appear ‘neutral’ and stand for nothing have also had their time in the spotlight for all to hear.

Now, it is our turn. For those of us who are eternally grateful for all who will and have laid down their lives for us and who unselfishly defend our freedoms and the unwavering, unquestioned greatness of this nation, it is our turn. By the time we are finished shouting our accolades, no one will even remember the self-defeating talk of those not courageous enough to be great.

One more thing. Pay close attention to some of Toronto’s mayoralty hopefuls if they show up today for an event that should be for the people and by the people. Remember them on voting day when you can show your lack of appreciation for them using such an unpartisan gathering for their own political expediency.



Nothing, nothing is worth the loss of a son, but everything, everything is worth a man actually being willing to take that risk and to die for what be believes in.

Judith Budd, mother, speaking on the loss of her son Cpl. Shane Keating in Afghanistan