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Never forget

cartoonToday marks the day that we are to remember those who have died in the fight for our country, and the values for which it stands.

However, unlike in days past where many had distinct memories of knowing people that had died or were injured in combat, now many just see war as something done by our parents’ and grandparents’ generation.

The reality, however, couldn’t be further from the truth.

In recent decades, there have been numerous situations that have seen the deployment of our military, stretching from peacekeeping campaigns in Rwanda and Kosovo at the end of the last century to modern conflicts like that in Afghanistan. Add in the smaller deployments in places such as Haiti, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan, and you see that the men and women of the Canadian military are still very much active.

Another truth, however, is that many who have served our country are also suffering. During the recent conflict in Afghanistan, more Canadian soldiers died as a result of suicide than in combat operations, according to a report from National Defence Canada earlier this year. The Globe and Mail also published an investigation recently that found another 54 had committed suicide after returning home.

The care of veterans has always been a big concern for Canada, although for many years, that focus was mainly on those who had suffered physical injuries. Following the Second World War, there weren’t as many options for treating mental illness, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, resulting in many soldiers being lobotomized, according to a 2013 investigation by the Wall Street Journal.

So today, please take the time to not only remember those who were killed in combat fighting for our country and what it stands for, but also take the time to think about those out there who are still suffering after fighting that same fight.