A Catholic Convert in Ottawa


Posted on: November 11, 2013

Those who are sworn to serve their country in the armed forces are servants of the security and freedom of nations. If they carry out their duty honourably, they truly contribute to the common good of the nation and the maintenance of peace.

– s. 2310 of the Catechism

My mother told me that her father never talked about World War II. He passed away a couple of months before I turned five, when I was far too young to be curious about the war.

But as a teenager, I came across a journal his brother had kept and sent home to their mother about one of the biggest air raids on London in April 1941. It ends with these words:

“God grant this war will come to an end soon and not in vain and bring all sufferings, hardships, broken hearts and tears to an end. I hope and pray that by this struggle we will benefit and eternal peace throughout the world for generations to come.”

We know that, sadly, peace didn’t last for generations. I think of conflicts in Korea, Vietnam, Iran and Iraq, Yugoslavia and Rwanda, to name a few. But while we long for peace, I pray that we would not forget the sacrifices of those who have fought to defend our freedoms and those who have given their lives for this goal.

As a “service brat,” the daughter of an air force pilot, the issue of respect for those serving in the military hits close to home for me. It angers me to read about soldiers being discharged from the military before they can qualify for a pension or not receiving the treatment they need for post-traumatic stress disorder. It upsets me to hear people disparage the work of our military in peacetime when these men and women provide vital help in the event of disasters and in search and rescue efforts. I pray that our society would honour these people for their service and care for them when they return from duty injured in body, mind or spirit.

And I pray that we would support the families who keep things running at home while they anxiously await for their loved ones’ tours to end, and those who are left to mourn when tragedy strikes.

Lest we forget. N’oublions jamais.

For information on support available for those who serve and their families, see the websites for the Veterans Ombudsman, the Royal Canadian Legion, Military Families Resource Centres and the True Patriot Love Foundation.


Food for Thought

(Y)ou do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that.” ~ James 4:14-15

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