This morning as I was sitting in my office looking out my window at the park across the street, I received a text message from my youngest son. A simple word with so much meaning – FREEDOM!
For most of us, freedom means to get on our scoots and cruise to wherever the front wheel points. No timeframe, no destination, no one to bother us.
For others, it may mean to live in a land where you are free to say what comes to mind, to eat when you want to eat or live where you want to live.
But for my son, it meant that he was finished with his five year obligation in the Royal Canadian Air Force. As a flyer, he flew in some of the rattiest aircraft in the RCAF’s fleet, a miracle that he landed safely some days. He was involved in a couple of incidents where things that go boom flew by him, so close a baseball bat would have taken them out of the sky. He saw some things that I know he would like to forget, but never will.
FREEDOM. Freedom can mean so much to so many, yet means so little to just as many. Freedom is taken for granted. Freedom is unrecognized.
You have heard the expression that freedom is not free. The truth is, it is not and never will be. But what grabs my goat is watch these people on the steps of the Legislative Buildings and say, “Free us from Russia <or substitute a country here>” just gets to me. You are now living is Canada, you ARE free from Russia <or substitute a country here>, and for you to fly any flag other than the Canadian flag is a disgrace, and may the gods above help you if you burn my flag! You live in Canada – MY CANADA. This is your home, and if it is not – move on. You are here today because of my son, our sons and daughters, our mothers and fathers, our grandparents. If you cannot accept their sacrifices, then you do not deserve the right to stand on those steps.
FREEDOM. A simple word with such a strong meaning.
As a father to a son who served, the two of the proudest days of my life where the day he entered the RCAF and today, the day he exited. I am just thankful that he is coming home. My heart falls heavy when I read about our sons and daughters that do not make it home. They made that ultimate sacrifice in the name of FREEDOM.
FREEDOM. What it means to have men and women who are willing to put their lives on hold so we can say that word. To all those in uniform – Thank you for your service.