EDITORIAL: The importance of remembering D-Day

As the end of the Second World War fades we must not become complacent

With each passing year, the spectre of the end of the Second World War is waning.

As of March 31, 2018 (the last date for which statistics are available) only 41,000 of the million people who served in the Canadian military during that war were still alive. The average age of those remaining service members was 93 a year ago. Royal Canadian Legion branches are closing, attendance at D-Day memorial parades are dwindling, and among members of the generations that followed what has been termed “the greatest generation,” the relevance of such things are becoming more difficult to grasp.

One week from today will mark the 75th anniversary of that day in 1944 when allied forces stormed the beaches of Normandy ushering in the beginning of the end of the war.

Despite the fact it was so long ago and so far away, we must not become complacent because the forces of authoritarianism have never left us and they are mustering on both ends of the political spectrum.

We tend to think of the continuum of politics as a straight line from left to right, but it might be more accurately viewed as a horseshoe. As a straight bar of metal is bent into a horseshoe the ends get closer and closer together.

At first glance, extremists on the left and right appear very different, but their tendencies toward forcing thought and behaviour on the masses is all too similar.

George Orwell’s excellent novella Animal Farm is a concise and unnerving allegory for how populism turns into tyranny and the leaders of revolutions become indistinguishable from the tyrants they replaced.

This is what all those Canadians fought against all those decades ago on the beaches.

It can happen again.

It can happen here.

It is happening today.

This is why it is so important that we do not simply pay lip service to the commemoration of important anniversaries, but understand what they were all about.

Lest we forget.

Just Posted

Telkwa council cautiously vigilant on crime stats

Crime severity was up, but reporting changes may be the cause, mayor says

July 2019 for Smithers “almost record breaking” says climatologist

David Phillips could only find one year with both more total precipitation and number of wet days

All Nations Driving Academy gets $360K boost from province

Terrace-based driving school bridges gap in services for remote northwest B.C. communities

VIDEO and PHOTOS: Thursday at the Spirit of the North Classical Music Festival

A brass fanfare, Classics on Main and a family folk dance were among the events on Day 2 of the fest

Skeena Watershed reopened for recreational pink and coho

Four sections and tributaries remain closed

QUIZ: How much do you remember about Woodstock?

Weekend music festival in Bethel, New York, was held 50 years ago

Maxime Bernier tells party faithful he will make it into the leaders’ debates

The People’s Party of Canada does not meet the current requirements

15-year-old boy drowns after midnight jump into Okanagan Lake

The RCMP and BC Coroners Service are investigating the drowning.

U16 B.C. fastpitch team named national champs

Girls went undefeated at national tournament in Calgary

Advocates ‘internationalize’ the fight to free Raif Badawi from Saudi prison

Raif Badawi was arrested on June 17, 2012, and was later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for his online criticism of Saudi clerics

Canadian entrepreneurs turning beer byproduct into bread, cookies and profits

Some breweries turn to entrepreneurs looking to turn spent grain into treats for people and their pets

Most Read