In this post I take some time to reflect on something that’s been on my mind for a few days. It isnt neccesarliy related to Church but it is an expereince that’s impacted me.
As I watched the legion veterans march out on the parade ground this remembrance day I felt a sense of pride and honour. These are men and woman who fought for us and gave a great deal, and they are the lucky ones, who served their country well and lived. You see I am reminded of what I have learnt about them, what I have come to know about their achievements through story and media and it is not their individual actions that I remember but the sacrifice and the accomplishment as a whole as a group, Individuals stepping up to act in amazing ways for a cause that is bigger than just them.
But what happened next I was not prepared for. The RCMP or Royal Canadian Mounted Police marched onto the parade ground as well, and I remembered, I remembered the stories and the media that I have been exposed to and I remembered that and all I felt was sadness and disappointment.
I remember as a child I wanted to be a member of the RCMP, to be a part of something greater than I was as an individual and belong to something. For the Americans their history books will forever associate the red coat of the British forces as that of occupier, as I write this I think of the old saying “the redcoats are coming the red coats are coming” that the Americans associate with Paul Revere’s wild ride. But for Canadians that red coat was a source of pride a representation of law in a wild time and a force for peace that helped unit us from coast to coast with rugged determination; a force bigger than only one man accomplishing an insurmountable task.
However, in the last five years, my awe for the RCMP as an organization has been tarnished again and again and again. What do I remember when I see the red coats marching out on parade? I remember a man on his hands and knees being kicked in the face by a member, I remember watching a Polish man die at the hands of four members in an airport; I remember the stories of woman who say that if they complained about sexual harassment on the force they were blacklisted. I see those red coats and I remember it all and it makes me sad.
I try to remember the awe I had for those red coats and the men and woman who wear them but I am sad because I think it’s gone.
This remembrance day I did remember.