“If you make me look like a hero, I will
Veterans can provide perspective.
come and get you.”
Consider the tumult the planet had
This was about 30 years ago.
experienced at the start of the last century.
Remembrance Day was approaching. A
TheLostGenerationof 1914 survivedWorld
young reporter hadbeengiven the name of
War I andwhooped it up in the Roaring 20s.
a certain local veteran who might agree to
Today’s veterans were teenagers when the
be interviewed for a newspaper article.
world suffered the Great Depression.
At first, this old soldier, who has long
When war was declared, again, they
since passed away, put up a good fight,
marchedoff to foreign landsdefending lands
The fog of war
many would never revisit. When they
“Talk to somebody else. I didn’t do
returned home, life in North America was
Truth is said to be one of the first
anything special. There are lots of others
And, “Was I ready todie formy country?
just getting good. They had to adjust to
casualties. But for those directly involved,
I did not want to die. You see, the point was
civilian life, but they just survived a global
there is no ambiguity.
He eventually surrendered to an
to make sure that the enemy died for his
conflict. How hard could a little adjustment
Since that interview more than three
interview when it was pointed out that, in
decades ago, the reporter has collected
fact, there were fewer and fewer World
While he agreed that we ought to
The uniforms were mothballed and they
many war stories.
War II veterans around. Young people
There are memories; very vivid
at times you could tell there were some
memories. The red beaches at Dieppe, a
had made back in the day. This would put
thoughts he wished he could erase. “I
Today, we are told that too many young
a face to a time few of us could relate to.
wonder why I am here. Your buddy beside
people lack focus and still haven’t “found
Christmas in a trench, raids in Sicily,
This man, who at the time could have
you gets a bullet in the head but you come
themselves.” The new “sandwich
shrapnel burning through flesh, disease,
indeed tracked down and hurt a timid
home without a scratch and your life goes
generation”must care for aging parents and
the dead and the walking dead.
journalist, turned out to be a great subject,
their own children.
For many vets, the civilian casualties
however, much of the conversation had to
Fate? Luck? Many vets are troubled by
People panic if the internet goes down for
were more difficult to accept than the
be off the record, because he did not want
a fewminutes or if cell phone reception fails
military losses. Soldiers had guns; the
“to blow his own horn.” Also, at times
There are few clear answers when we
for an instant.
civilians were defenceless. One vet wept
when the past horrors came rushing back
ponder the human beast’s propensity for
Which brings us to the need to observe a
when he relived the sight of an endless line
too fast, he would get angry. His body
few moments of silence November 11.
of starving women and children begging
The significance of the 11 th
hour, the 11 th
would shake, his hands would clench, as if
The fog of war. The origin of that cliché,
day, the11 th
he were squeezing off a belt of ammo.
in a literal sense, was explained during a re-
During the interview, it becameobvious
enactment this summer of a War of 1812
moment that occurred almost a century ago
that there are some questions that did not
battle. Make-believe soldiers could barely
when the battlefields of Europe fell silent.
about who is right andwho iswrongwhen
need to be asked of a war veteran.
In this totallywiredworld, silence is such
“Was I ever scared? Scared? Of course,
a precious and rare commodity.
whenyourbarn is torched,whenyouresort
you were scared. There was always a guy
There was confusion; there were no clear
Thanks to themanyveterans,weareall so
to eating tulip bulbs.
on the other side trying to kill you. They
winners or losers.
empowered. We have so many unfettered
The typical veterans are modest. They
were firing artillery shells and dropping
In a figurative sense, the fog of war can
ways to share our images, thoughts and
had a job to do. They did the right thing;
bombs on us. There were landmines all
cloud reason and swamp the moral
experiences with the rest of the world. But
they fought the good fight.
over the place.”
sometimes it is helpful to simply listen.
Reach out to peers in need, students told
meeting where he urged the students to be
They don’t say anything about a friend’s
“What they need most is a
leaders in their schools to help students
problems – until it is too late.
“Life trumps confidentiality.”
struggling with depression and suicidal
However, a real friend will say, “I will
Many youth who reach out to help
friend and an advocate who
followall your rulesbut Iwill not followthat
friends in crisis get caught in the trap of
can get them help.”
Thomas implored the 46 students to
one,” says Thomas.
bending to a request for confidentiality,
The board official was speaking to
notes Upper Canada District School Board
be suffering. He asked them to be a friend
members of the Student Senate at a recent
director of education David Thomas.
Thomas recalled conducting a board
investigation into the suicide of a student at
“What they needmost is a friend and an
one of the UCDSB’s high schools. If a friend
advocate who can get themhelp,” Thomas
North Glengarry mayoralty race
hadbeen inplace for thevictimtoreachout to,
said of students in crisis.
the student might be with us today, he said.
The director noted that mental illness is
Students at the Senate said they would
more prevalent in Canadian society than
take Thomas’s message back to their student
a bout with some form of mental illness
Blythe Armstrong and Reagan Brugmans,
before the age of 45.
Two candidates have already entered the race to succeed Grant Crack as mayor of
Senate members fromNorth Dundas District
The issue was highlighted recently by
North Glengarry Township in a January 16 by-election.
High School, agreed that making the
the suicide of the son of an Ottawa city
connectionwith students inneedwouldhelp.
councillor. The openly gay youth took his
board, have declared their intentions to seek the seat which became vacant when Crack
They also suggested bringing in speakers to
life after being bullied at his school.
was elected the new Glengarry-Prescott-Russell M.P.P. October 6.
their school nextmonth to talkmore about the
Thomas recommended students tell a
This is the second time Proulx has vied for the mayoralty. Crack defeated him in the
issues of bullying and suicide during Anti-
principal, a teacher, any adult who will
November, 2010 election by a margin of 2,162 to 660.
McDonell, who was acclaimed to his post last year, thought he had secured the
The Student Senate is made up of
about suicide. And if they can’t find an
mayor’s post only a few weeks back when he was appointed as Crack’s successor and
representatives from student councils from
adult who will listen, he asked that they
Alexandria Councillor Jamie MacDonald was named Deputy-mayor. But these
board high schools and is led by Student
appointments were rescinded because they did not comply with the OntarioMunicipal
Trustee Jacob Howe. It provides input to the
“I will do my very best to ensure that a
Act. Last week, council voted 4-2 to hold a special election to choose the mayor.
board from the student population.
student gets the help that they need,” he
Visite d’une légende vivante à Hawkesbury chez ROUSSEL Jiu-Jitsu & Kickboxing Le 22 octobre dernier,
23 fois champion du monde en kickboxing, Jean-Yves Thériault (gauche) est venu faire une visite à l’école de Dany Roussel (droite) en plus de donner, à plus de 20 élèves, un entraînement de son programme personnalisé “Iceman Kickboxing”. Les gens ont eu la chance de parler, de prendre des photos et d’avoir un autographe de cet athlète de statut international. À 56 ans, retraité de la compétition, Jean-Yves est dans une forme physique incroyable en plus d’être un individu super sympathique.
Nous vendons différents modèles de remorques en aluminium (légères et résistantes).
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