Veteran shares meaning of Remembrance Day

By Rob Vogt – Local Press Writer
Bullies have to be stopped whether it is an individual or a country.
That was the message Veteran Herb Johnson brought to the students at Stavely Elementary School when he spoke at the school’s Remembrance Day service on Nov. 4.
He asked students if they knew why on Nov. 11 people wore poppies, saw war movies on television, and some cried?
“A lot of people today don’t understand what they are seeing and what they are hearing,” Johnson said.
Since the 1800s, Canada has been sending troops into action.
“We’ve lost a lot of good Canadian soldiers for doing so,” he said.
It is their sacrifice that is honoured.
“We take one day a year – Nov. 11,” Johnson said.
He noted the First World War was supposed to be the war to end all wars.
“Turn on your TV tonight to see if that is true,” Johnson said.
Instead, war continues around the world, and Remembrance Day recognizes the sacrifice of a lot of Canadians ages 18 to 35.
Johnson pointed out a lot of those people never got to growm up, never got to be married, or have a family.
He asked why are wars started?
Normally, Johnson explained, one person finds some followers to occupy someone else’s land, home, and life.
These people want more and more power, and get greedy, occupying more and more.
Canadians have said you cannot do that, and will go to war to stop them.
“That’s what this is all about,” Johnson said.
He compared these people to bullies, saying these leaders grew up thinking they could push people around and got away with it.
Alternatively, they did not get away with it, and started a group to get away with it.
“We’re seeing that happen every day today,” Johnson said.
People have to take responsibility to stand up to bullies.
“That’s us people,” Johnson said.
It starts here, he stressed, with the people around you.
You have to recognize them as your friends, enjoy them, treat them well, and don’t fight or insult them.
“You have to do your best,” Johnson said. “And I’m asking you to do your best.
“So when you grow up you won’t have to fight any wars – hopefully.”
He said it’s all up to you, to act how you are raised and how God wants you to act.
“To be a good person is to like and love your fellow person,” Johnson said. “You’re all good, Canadian people.
“That’s how you become a good citizen – it starts right here, right now.”
If they grow up to be good citizens, Johnson urged them to become leaders for all people.
Johnson concluded by pointing out why they were all there.
“We’re here to recognize the fallen soldiers, sailors, airmen,” he said, adding they sacrificed so much. “That’s why we wear the poppy.”