A decade later, and collective memory begins to dim. It’s natural; other tragedies take over, bigger issues take over. The economy worsens, gets better worsens again. Politicians come and go, wars start, wars end. But we must always remember that bright September morning, the world changed. And 11 years on, it hasn’t changed back; it won’t change back. 11 years in Canadian terms tell the tale of a decade-long combat mission, that if it were up to the troops, would I believe continue to this day. It has told a story for every one of the 154 soldiers who have fallen. It tells the story as well of a country that has really started out on its own with its foreign policy. It has told the story of a kind, compassionate nation that defends against injustice (Libya), and helps its neighbours as it did for five days following in Gander NL.
I fear if we forget, if we don’t remember the reason for all of this we forget a part of ourselves really. Because like it or not, Canadians aren’t just peacekeepers anymore, if we ever were. We’ve fought the war, we’ve got the scars and respect to prove it. A Canadian voice that speaks out now is heard and taken seriously. If we forget what happened, we forget how that came to pass, and what it cost. If we forget, we’ll forget how we felt every time we lined the 401 in tribute; the sadness, the tears shed in memory.
There is a well-worn saying that history repeats itself. If we forget what happened on 9/11 then I fear the possibility it will happen again. 11 years on, Osama Bin Laden is dead; a wrong righted- the bad guy killed. Killing him doesn’t mean it’s over… it just means we have to work harder to remember.