We owe them at least the time it takes to cast a ballot.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON  October 4, 2011  –  Many, if not most of them, were kids.  They really didn’t know what they were doing but deep within each of them they understood that they were doing something important and they saw it as an adventure and so they “signed up” in 1914 and 1915.

And then the hard, painful reality of it all struck them as they climbed over the top of the trenches at the Somme and at Vimy Ridge – and they died miserable wretched deaths for something they knew was right but didn’t fully understand.  Many of the men that fought didn’t have the right to vote.

Commonwealth cemetery

In 1939 through to 1944 thousands of men once again signed up and once again thousands died miserable, wretched deaths in cold wet places.  Each November we celebrate their sacrifice – there was a time when it was a national holiday.

Every family in the country was touched by those two wars.  Every year we talk about the extreme

We call them the quiet victims

sacrifice they made for us – and while we believe what we are saying we somehow are not able to take the words and translate them into the hour or so that it takes to cast a ballot in an election.

There is an election in the next few days – and YOU get to exercise the franchise for which these

men and woman gave their lives.  Pay the debt you owe each one of them.  We don’t care who you vote for – you can show up be given your ballot and tell the clerk you do not wish to vote for anyone because you don’t feel any of them are good enough.

On your way back from the polling station – talk to the spirit of those men and woman who gave their lives for that ballot you just cast – and thank them for what they did for you.


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