This week, as Huntsville’s Royal Canadian Legion Branch 232 members prepare to celebrate their 80th anniversary, we take our hats off to them, as well as the ladies’ auxiliary — both entities are integral on many fronts, particularly in their ability to remind us that war is an ugly affair.
Recently, this publication ran an award-winning special series about the horrors of war past and present. Among the issues it covered were the impact of war on the minds and the nerves of returning soldiers, and their difficulty with trying to return to normal life.
Unless you’ve been there, it is difficult to imagine or understand what the effects of loud explosions, constant artillery as well as killing and watching others getting killed has on our psyche.
There is no other group that can better understand a veteran of war than one comprised of people with similar experiences.
Hence, the legion is invaluable to both our veterans and our sensibilities.
Not being exposed to war means we don’t think about it much, unless we live with a veteran or are related to one.
When we get angry or feel our way is better than that of another country’s, we find it easy to develop a zero-tolerance policy, albeit perhaps not as easily as our neighbours to our south.
The legion and its members are tasked with ensuring we don’t forget what happens when nations go to war. They remind us what happens when we give up on diplomacy as we watch them and local dignitaries put symbolic wreaths on the cenotaph.
They also bring us together as a community and instill pride in what we represent and the freedoms we enjoy thanks to those who lost their lives or significantly altered them for us.
Branch 232 also runs a series of community events such as a free Canada Day dinner, helps the elderly in our community and supports youth.
As they approach their 80th anniversary and the ladies’ auxiliary approaches its 70th, we thank both these organizations for everything they do and ask you to turn to page A12 for find out more.
There will be a special pancake breakfast commemorating the anniversaries on May 27 at 9 a.m., and the whole community is invited.