Why we remember...
Today is Remembrance Day in Canada, a day when we remember the members of our armed forces who have died in the line of duty.
This year, it seems more important than ever to remember those who served…and why they served, especially in World War II. That war fought Italian fascism, Japanese militarism and their invasion of China, and the political takeover of Germany by Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party and its aggressive foreign policy.
“World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.” Wikipedia
After the war ended, the Allies formed the United Nations in an effort to maintain world peace and adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 as a common standard for all member nations. France, China, the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union and the United States became the permanent members of the UN's Security Council.
During World War II, the Allies adopted the Four Freedoms—freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from fear, and freedom from want—as their basic war aims. The United Nations Charter "reaffirmed faith in fundamental human rights, and dignity and worth of the human person" and committed all member states to promote "universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion."
Today, it is terrifying and horrifying to see with our own eyes that these fundamental freedoms are under attack, and more important than ever to remember why they fought…for freedom.