Monday, March 06, 2006

From Here to Kandahar

I love my flag - it fills me with a depth of love reserved only for my country - so it hurts my heart to see it draped across coffins coming home from far away. And I know we will see too many more come home before this is over.

Canadian soldiers know that there are risks involved in serving their country. They accept that any military operation is inherently dangerous and that accidents happen. They serve with pride.

As Canadians we tend to be trusting and we believe in the inherent goodness of people. We believe that in any situation people can be brought to their potential and given the right support and resources they can make their world a better place. We believe individual rights should be protected and not oppressed. We believe that all people should have hope, opportunity and the chance to live life with dignity. We believe in the power of family and community and therefore democracy.

Afghanistan is not an easy place for Canadians to be. So much that we take for granted here in Canada is not within the grasps of the people of Afghanistan. It is our nature to extend what help we can and the work our soldiers are doing over there is a neccessary part of rebuilding a country. We want to do this, but it's our caring that makes us vulnerable.

Further, it's not a safe place to be. We obviously can’t trust these people, even if we want to. We need to be vigilant: don’t take off your helmet; remember your weapon; watch your back and as soon as the kids disappear from the crowd take evasive action as necessary.

But we also know as Canadians that we can’t turn our backs on a people in need. We might not be able to trust that these people are making the best decisions right now but I think we have to believe that there is good in them and that they are deserving of a better life.

For our guys over there, don't let the bad guys get you down. It has been a tough week, but you all know why you are there and you see why it is important. Stay Strong. We believe in you.

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