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Copyright Graeme MacKay. Please check for MacKay's posting and publication rules by clicking here.
The Hamilton Spectator
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Remembrance Day, 2007
Before the mission in Afghanistan, many young Canadians his age viewed Remembrance Day was a faraway concept - more about paying respect to their grandfathers' war service, or recounting long ago battles such as Vimy Ridge and D-Day.

Now there are no uniformed enemies and few front lines. Today it's religious extremists who live alongside other Afghans, guerrilla attacks, and buried bombs on the roads used to get to battle.

But young Canadians are once again risking life and limb. Seventy-one have died in Afghanistan since 2002.

"I think it's wakeup call for a lot of Canadians," said Defence Minister Peter MacKay as he visited Afghanistan this week.

"We have veterans now who are 19 and 20 years old who are returning from Afghanistan. And this is a modern remembrance. This is something I think has been an awakening for our country of the importance of military service, of the incredible sacrifice and dedication of those in uniform."

Gen. Rick Hillier, chief of the defence staff, also sees a new attitude toward Nov. 11.

"I do believe that Remembrance Day resonates differently with Canadians today, it resonates very viscerally, and is very real," Hillier said in a statement. "Our fine young men and women, our sons and daughters today are serving in harm's way, proudly wearing the Canadian flag on their left shoulder. Source...

Remembrance Day in Afghanistan
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