This week is a very solemn time for Canadians from coast to coast to coast. This week marks the 75th anniversary of the Day-D landings and the movements that led to the eventual end of the Second World War. Many Canadians from all walks of life can point to relatives who fought on those beaches in Normandy, loved ones who sacrificed for our futures. While some of our loved ones came home, many didn’t and made the ultimate sacrifice, one that we rightly remember and commemorate to this day. For me, today I think of my grandfather Alfred Holmstrom, who was there and wounded while fighting to bring freedom to Europe.
So as we remember this week, many politicians from around the World are gathering on those beaches to remember and commemorate their sacrifices. In these fraught times, it’s all the more important that we not only remember those actions in 1944 but remember the 75 years of relative peace and prosperity that has come as a result of the sacrifices made by a generation of young men and women from all over.
At moments like these, politicians usually take the chance to make a solemn and respectful statement of remembrance, giving thanks to those who served. Finding the words to do that usually isn’t a hard thing to do; in truth, it’s actually quite easy and straight forward. But some politicians just can’t help themselves in moments like there; they think that they will be really smart, cute and precious and decide to wedge something into these messages that have no place in them at all. Or at least I can only assume that thought was somehow a part of it. That kind of “thought” led us to something we saw today coming out of Queen’s Park, something that just made my stomach turn:
After reading that Tweet, I rightfully came away with a few questions. For starters, who in their right effing mind thought THAT was a good idea, to try to score beer points on the back of the anniversary of D-Day? Because if they actually gave that a “thought”, they never would have done it. Secondly, how in the Hell after doing that did it take over four hours to get it taken down? Seriously, how did that kind of ignorant screw up sit up on social media for that bloody long? Maybe someone in the Ford Conservative team didn’t see the problem with it? If so, that’s probably a huge part of the problem.
Finally, what kind of punishment will this MPP face for his crass ignorance? I’d like to think that the hammer would come down on him for daring to try to score partisan points off of the veterans who fought and died to ensure that they have their freedom today, but I’m not convinced it will happen. The irony is that in Mr. Barrett’s message he quotes “having the liberty to debate” issues like this thanks to the sacrifice of those veterans. It’s true that we have that freedom thanks to their sacrifices 75 years ago but guess what? Just because you have that freedom doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have enough bloody sense to not invoke those same people while trying to pimp your policy to sell beer in corner stores.
Guess what? I don’t think that if you asked those veterans when they were getting ready to storm the beaches of Normandy about why they were doing it, the freedom to debate if they should be able to by their Molson’s at the corner store was probably far down their list after stopping fascism, protecting democracy and ensuring that their families would remain free. But hey folks, I’m sure that we’ll hear some excuse from the Ford team about how this wasn’t that bad and that it’s really the NDP, the Beer Store and “evil school boards” who really don’t like veterans.
This episode goes to prove my firm belief that common sense isn’t always so common as some would make it seem. It seems like a complete no-brainer to not put out a message like this on any day, let alone on the 75 anniversary of D-Day itself, yet here we are. I would hope that this MPP will get the punishment that he deserves for such disrespect, but it seems that being ridiculed and scorned by many will probably be the extent to which that punishment will include. I hope to be proved wrong there, but I’m not so hopeful.