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Nov 11th: A Day of Remembrance

Posted on 10 November 2010 by admin

Every year on November 11, Canadians pause in a silent moment of remembrance for the men and women who have served, and continue to serve our country during times of war, conflict and peace. We honour those who fought for Canada in the First World War (1914-1918), the Second World War (1939-1945), and the Korean War (1950-1953), as well as those who have served since then. More than 1,500,000 Canadians have served our country in this way, and more than 100,000 have died. They gave their lives and their futures so that we may live in peace.

A woman places a poppy at a makeshift memorial to Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier following Remembrance Day ceremonies in Ottawa, (Tom Hanson/The Canadian Press)

Why Remember?

We must remember. If we do not, the sacrifice of those one hundred thousand Canadian lives will be meaningless. They died for us, for their homes and families and friends, for a collection of traditions they cherished and a future they believed in; they died for Canada. The meaning of their sacrifice rests with our collective national consciousness; our future is their monument.1

Whom Do We Remember

As the artillerymen swung three abreast down Main Street, traffic stopped and people watched from the sidewalks. Some stood in silence. A few wept. Some cheered a bit or called out to soldiers they knew – to an officer who had for years devoted his spare time to the militia battery, to a genial giant from the slums, to a farmboy from Taylor Village, to a man with a police record, to a teenager leaving the prettiest girl in town.

How Do We Remember?

On November 11, especially, but also throughout the year, we have the opportunity to remember the efforts of these special Canadians. In remembering, we pay homage to those who respond to their country’s needs. On November 11, we pause for two minutes of silent tribute, and we attend commemorative ceremonies in memory of our war dead.

Following the First World War a French woman, Madame E. Guérin, suggested to British Field-Marshall Earl Haig that women and children in devastated areas of France could produce poppies for sale to support wounded Veterans. The first of these poppies were distributed in Canada in November of 1921, and the tradition has continued ever since, both here and in many parts of the world.

Poppies are worn as the symbol of remembrance, a reminder of the blood-red flower that still grows on the former battlefields of France and Belgium. During the terrible bloodshed of the second Battle of Ypres in the spring of 1915, Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae, a doctor serving with the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps, wrote of these flowers which lived on among the graves of dead soldiers:

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

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Guess What? Youth is Not Worth “Their” Investment

Posted on 04 March 2010 by .

The 32 year old baby-faced Toronto City Councilor Adam Giambrone is back in his office, still retaining his position as a Chair of Toronto Transit Commission (TTC). He broke down in a press conference after a sex scandal broke out. He was also a Toronto mayoral candidate. His campaign evoked images of Mr. Barrack Obama’s presidential campaign of “yes we can.” His campaign spoke to youth in an environment where people especially youth are apathetic to political process. Youth was hoping to follow him on Twitter and to grow farms at Farmville and to watch him on youtube. All these hopes shattered when his campaign wrapped up without completing ten days. Ambitions of youth fell apart. He could have been an inspirational and motivational politician for next generation to look up to.

But that did not happen. In fact in a few seconds politicians made statements discrediting his services, pointing fingers at his incompetence and so on. Wasn’t there a time not too long ago whereby seniors and adults were there to advise and to teach their juniors.

Adam Giambrone’s fall is not his alone. It is of next generation of aspiring politicians’ also. His demise has a greater impact for youth who are struggling – extremely hard – to make mark in their communities. And I wonder if I am even right in considering Giambrone a member of Generation Next. Because when we tell advertising agencies and corporate clients and the members of community that we represent young adults and young professionals in their twenties and thirties, Generation Next – the only South Asian magazine targeting and reaching out to these young professionals – is disregarded as a “kids’ magazine.”

Of course some of it is a ploy used by competitors who would use any dirty tricks to degrade Generation Next and thus the next generation. Some of it is ignorance of how big a consumer market young adults make and how the future of our community, our nation and our country rests on South Asian young adults. These young adults are the builders of the nation as we have a greater number of people retiring. These young professionals would be building a stronger Canada by working in telecom industry, in cable companies, in banks, in hospitals, in schools, in sports, in fashion, in arts, music and theatre. Yet, Generation Next is told – especially by the advertising agencies handling corporate clients like banks and telephone companies – that their client is not interested in targeting youth. Isn’t this unbelievable? Shouldn’t this outrage all of us? Shouldn’t this infuriate our parents who work so hard so that their kids can be educated and get jobs, however the government and the corporate Canada that deals through advertising agencies – which do not, by the way, do their homework – thinks that youth is not work investing.

I am curious to know if anyone – in Canada and abroad – can disregard Sidney Crosby, a 23-year-old player that hit the winning stroke in Canada’s national game in Olympics. I would really like to know an agency, a sponsor, an individual who would not want to invest in this young man or in his team for that matter. I would be grateful to anyone who can explain to me why corporate Canada has not launched any media campaign to outreach to the youth, to the South Asian youth, to a community that is a fastest visible minority growing in Canada, or is the decision left up to ill informed planning/advertising agencies who do not bother to do their home work.

I would like to note that my sister has graduated with a major in accounting. She is 21. She has been offered a $40,000 job as a beginner. She is using a cell phone that she thinks suits best for her; she chose the network she will buy it from at the age of 18; we are the ones who highly suggested to our father that he buy a Toyota that we should have a cable that has desi channels and HBO and in another couple of years, she would be buying a condo of her own, looking for mortgage companies, car of her own and an insurance company that fulfills her need. And, yet, youth is not a consumer and corporate Canada and the government does not feel that money should be invested in the youth, and the magazine that represents them.

In one of media get-togethers, the Honourable Jason Kenny, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and Multiculturalism, honoured the community press for highlighting the issues of the community, issues that the mainstream media does not cover. Well, Minister Kenny, I am raising another issue here. Why is youth being disregarded? Why is a paper that wants to engage youth at all levels of society humiliated by being labeled as a “kids’ magazine?” And why are a bunch of ill-informed people being allowed to make decisions on Canada’s future.

And, we all know that it is a politically correct thing to say that youth is our future and we should invest in them, yet when the time to invest comes, youth is not a buyer, not a consumer, nowhere.

I don’t believe we can make Sidney Crosby by having this attitude. And I am sure many – almost everyone – would agree.

Author:Asma Amanat

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Honoured for their sacrifice| Soldiers injured in roadside bomb given medal to commemorate time in Afghanistan

Posted on 17 February 2010 by .

Cpl. Bradley Osmond would have preferred not to have received a Canadian Forces Sacrifice Medal.

“It’s a great honour but not something I would have liked to have gotten,” Osmond said after he and fellow soldier Cpl. Matthew Dicks were presented with the medals during a ceremony Wednesday, Feb. 10 at the Canadian Forces Recruiting Centre (CFRC) in North York.

Honoured for their sacrifice. Corporal Bradley Osmond receives the Canadian Forces Sacrifice Medal from Commodore Dan MacKeigan during a ceremony Wednesday at 4900 Yonge St. Staff photo/DAN PEARCE

On April 11, 2007, Osmond was en route to relieve other members of the Recce Squadron at a remote observation post west of Kandahar, Afghanistan, when his light armoured vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb.

Osmond, who currently lives in North York, sustained a serious concussion, three fractures to his left wrist and nerve damage to his left arm. The explosion marked the fourth time his patrol was struck by an improvised explosive device.

Osmond has worked as a file manager at CFRC since July 2008.

On the same day, Dicks’ light armoured vehicle was returning from assisting another soldier who was injured on a different convoy two hours earlier when they received a call to help Osmond’s patrol. Dicks’ vehicle hit a roadside bomb only 750 metres from where Osmond was.

The second explosion killed the driver and crew commander of the vehicle and seriously injured Dicks. Two other soldiers suffered minor injuries.

Dicks was airlifted to a United States military hospital in Germany before flying back to Canada, where he underwent extensive hospital stays in Ottawa and Pembroke.

While confined to a wheelchair, Dicks returned to work in June 2007. He resumed full duties in January 2008 and currently works as a range patroller.

“This is a very important and solemn occasion but not too solemn,” Commodore Daniel MacKeigan, commander of the Canadian Forces Recruiting Group, said prior to presenting the Sacrifice Medals to Osmond and Dicks. “In some ways this is a celebration and in some ways it’s recognition of what we do.”

With their families snapping pictures, MacKeigan presented the Sacrifice Medals to both Osmond and Dicks.

Originally from Twillingate, Newfoundland, Osmond has also been awarded the Chief of Defense Staff Commendation for saving two civilians after his patrol was hit by a roadside bomb in an attack.

Dicks, from Foxtrap, Newfoundland, currently resides in Barrie.


Barrie soldier honoured with medal

By: Sgt Bill McLeod

Corporal Matthew Dicks received the Sacrifice Medal in a ceremony Wednesday at the Canadian Forces Recruiting Group office in Toronto.

Corporal Dicks, originally from Foxtrap Newfoundland was wounded in action on April 11 in 2007 as a result of an improvised explosive device strike while on patrol in Afghanistan which resulted in the death of his driver Trooper Patrick Pentland and his crew commander Master Corporal Allan Stewart. As a result of his injuries, he was flown from Kandahar to Germany for emergency medical treatment and then on to Canada where he had extensive hospital stays in Ottawa and Pembroke.

Sgt Bill McLeod, CFB Borden Base ImageryCpl Matthew Dicks receives his Sacrifice Medal, Wednesday, from Commodore Daniel MacKeigan, Commander Canadian Forces Recruiting Group, at a ceremony in Toronto.

He returned to work in June of 2007 while confined to a wheelchair and resumed full duties in January of 2008. He was posted to Canadian Forces Base Borden in September of 2008 and is currently working with Range Control; patrolling the training area in an effort to ensure the safety and security of all members using the training area.

“It is a great honour to see our men and women in uniform who have paid the ultimate sacrifice and who are wounded in action be awarded with the Sacrifice Medal,” said Col. Guy Hamel, Base Commander for Canadian Forces Base Borden. “Cpl. Dicks is among the bravest soldiers, I want to thank him and his family for making Canada proud.”

The Sacrifice Medal was created to provide formal recognition to those Canadian Forces members who are killed or wounded by hostile action. It is also awarded to a soldier that dies under honourable circumstances as a result of an injury or disease related to military service. Members of an allied force working as an integral part of the Canadian Forces, such as exchange personnel, and civilian employees working under authority of the CF may also be eligible to receive the Sacrifice Medal. This honour replaces the Wound Stripe.


Sacrifice Medal

The Sacrifice Medal was created in the context of increased casualties in overseas operations to fulfill the desire of Canadians and the federal government to provide formal recognition, through the award of an official medal emanating from the Crown, to those who die as a result of military service or are wounded by hostile action.

The medal may be awarded to members of the Canadian Forces, civilian employees of the government of Canada or Canadian citizens under contract with the government of Canada, on the condition that they were deployed as part of a military mission under the authority of the Canadian Forces, that have, on or after Oct. 7, 2001, died or been wounded under honourable circumstances as a direct result of hostile action.

The ribbon is a watered ribbon, with a black central stripe flanked by red edges centered on which are white stripes. Black represents the mourning of the dead and the shock of the wounds, the red represents the blood that has been spilled and the white, the hope for a better future.

– Canadian Forces

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