“They shall grow not old as we that are left grow old,

age shall not weary them nor the years condemn.”

“Lest we forget – we shall remember them.”

Vancouver, B.C.

While thinking of Remembrance Day, it occurs to me that all those who fought in the World Wars gave their lives, one way or another.  For those who returned home to serve out their “life” sentence carried with them the horrors of war in the dark recesses of their minds.  The reality of coming face to face with death and destruction surely must have changed their perspective on life.

This was certainly true of Tom Lorn, a Canadian vet who lost his leg in action during World War II.  Tom and his wife, Francine, raised ten children and he continued the fight for freedom until his death following a car accident in 1991.

Lorn was an eloquent writer and tried to raise the public’s awareness of his “pro-life” cause through letters to the editor published in the daily and weekly newspapers.   When the right to life, for which he fought, was denied to the unborn by Canadian legislators, Lorn was heartsick.

“Who would have imagined that our own country, Canada, would someday allow these despicable laws?” he wrote.  He joined Operation Rescue to protest outside Everywoman’s Health Clinic (Abortuary) in East Vancouver in December, 1988.  While the rescuers sang, O Canada, memories of being assigned guard duty during the war flashed through his mind.  He later said it was then he began to see very clearly [that] freedom demands eternal vigilance.

Lorn wrote: “During the rescue I looked across the street and beyond at the lights of Vancouver and wondered at the apathy and hostility of my friends.  Did they know or care that I was standing ‘on guard for thee’?”  He further explained, “I am on guard to save lives because more lives are lost in abortion than in the world wars.”

Lorn spent many hours defending life and was imprisoned for his efforts.  He was, however, eternally grateful that he had “only lost a leg” in the war and was spared his life.

When one thinks of the freedom won by those who gave their lives, in one way or another, it is devastating to think of the freedoms we can no longer take for granted.  We express horror at the casualties of war and yet we in the West surgically end life in numbers far exceeding all casualties from all wars since the beginning of time.

Who is standing on guard to protect the rights so valiantly won through the world wars?  The attack on family values escalates as the “politically correct” seem to be gaining ground.  Christmas plays have been cancelled throughout the nation.  School prayer has become a thing of the past.

Ironically, the year Lorn died, the whole world was caught in the Gulf War storm.  In the relative safety of their homes, many watched the first “Television War” with a certain detachment that made events seem surreal and masked the tragedy with carefully selected language, obscuring the facts and making “human devastation” into a prime time soap opera.

Many teenagers today are confused and apathetic.  Is it any wonder they have lost respect for the values that fortified past generations?  What price peace, one might ask.  Was it worth compromising family values for material security?  Was it worth giving the crucial inch to maintain peace or popularity?

Remember when you see the poppy, it is the symbol of freedom – we must never take that freedom for granted or forget the price it cost those who fought and died for it?

Perhaps, if we can rekindle this spirit among our youth, there may still be enough “foot soldiers” left to take over and “stand guard” to protect freedom when their generation takes its place in the fight for decency in a potentially corrupt civilization.

There is a sign in front of an American school that reads, “in the event of an atomic attack, the federal ruling against prayer in this school is temporarily suspended.”

That just about says it all!