Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Honouring the Fallen

I found this article on CTV helpful in understanding the recent media coverage of the government's decision to ban media from the repatriation ceremonies of fallen soldiers, and to end the process of lowering the flag on the Peace tower for every fallen soldier.

When I first heard the news on the radio, I was very disappointed in the government. On further reflection I heard news reports that Canadian Soldiers support the government's decision to keep this moment private. With that news I wonder now if the controversy isn't about the media itself and it's need to capitalize on the suffering of soldiers families.

The unfortunate reality of war is that soldiers sometimes die, if the country has made the decision to fight, we certainly cannot question the mission at the first sign of difficulty. David Rudd of the Canadian Institute of Strategic Studies came closest to summarizing my thoughts when he said:
"If you have a tragedy like this and the government reacts to it with a shrug - saying, 'well, there's going to be more of that to come' - that doesn't do much to solidify or maintain existing public support for the mission, but by the same token, you don't want to drift into a state of self-analysis or self-flagellation every time there's a casualty."
We clearly need to do a better job honouring our soldiers, but creating a media frenzy over every casualty is not the way to go. Perhaps the idea of wearing red on Fridays to support our troops will catch on, at least its a small way to support our troops. May God bless and protect them.

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