Let’s remember all of our veterans this year

The Nov. 10 editorial for the Williams Lake Tribune

I Love This Land

You were and always shall be my brother

We were all the same color wrapped in the flag of this nation

My blood flowed as freely as yours, mixed in the field’s one could not be distinguished from the other

Yet when we came home, when the nation’s colors were removed

Difference became apparent, not between you and me, God willing never

But in the eyes of those for whom we laid down our lives.

Oh, we still stood shoulder to shoulder in parades, but the government thought that your life was more valuable than mine

So you were given land property, while I waited and waited,

I know what you were given was not enough for what we endured

Still it was much more than I.

I am not envious of you brother, I believe you deserve even more than you received

But it hurt me very badly, I am not ashamed to say I cried and why not

I bled, I died, I killed, why does my country think I am unworthy

The enemy I fought could never be as cruel as the people I came back to embrace.

I gave so much, lived through so much and then you,

you who I would give all for, you pushed me aside as if I was inconsequential

I feel as if I have been spit upon by one I honored

Do I feel good having to ask you for what should have been given long ago, no?

In fact, I am a little ashamed to ask for justice in this

For I never went to war for money, for glory, for reward, I went because it was the right thing to do and God

forgive me, I would go again.

This may seem an old wound to you but it is a wound that never heals

For it is a wound to my people’s heart and soul and insult to our pride

And we deserve so much better, especially from you.

Bruce Mack submitted the above poem, written by Chief R. Stacey, to the Tribune for our Remembrance Day edition.

“I think it is very fitting that we understand our picture of the war and veterans is incomplete,” he says.

He is right.

According to the Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, one third of First Nations people aged 18 to 45 enlisted in the First World War. While on the front, Indigenous Canadians were, mostly, treated the same as their non-Indigenous counterparts, many even having to learn English on the battlefield.

When they got home, that changed.

While federal policies, according to the Canadian War Museum, extended post-war benefits to non-Aboriginals, such as access to land and low interest rate loans, those same benefits did not reach the Indigenous Canadians who fought and died for our country.

Still, in the Second World War, at least 3,000 First Nation members enlisted, not including many Inuit and Metis who also joined the fight.

This Remembrance Day it’s important that we recognize all of our veterans.

It’s important to remember that those who fought and died for our country had to struggle when they came home to even be considered as equal to their fellow soldiers.

The Williams Lake Tribune

Just Posted

Mary Poppins flies to Lake City Secondary stage Tuesday

‘Super-cali-fragil-istic-expi-ali-docious’ play acted by Sr. Drama Class

Williams Lake eyed for junior ‘A’ hockey expansion

The WSHL appears to have interest in establishing a junior ‘A’ expansion team in Williams Lake.

New chief for Alexis Creek First Nation

After serving 14 years on band council, Otis Guichon Sr. has been elected chief of his community west of Williams Lake.

Enrolment numbers up at TRU Williams Lake

More domestic students are taking courses at the university in Williams Lake

Chilcotin receives large dump of snow

The snowstorm that fell in B.C. over the weekend also impacted areas in the Chilcotin

Testing the Google Arts & Culture app

Going face to face with art

VIDEO: Fuel truck and train collide in B.C. causing massive fire

More emergency crews are still arriving on scene of a massive fire at the Port Coquitlam rail yard.

Back to work: U.S. government shutdown ends after Democrats relent

Short-term spending measure means both sides could see another shutdown stalemate in three weeks

Man lives despite malfunctioning defibrillator at B.C. arena

A middle-aged man went into cardiac arrest after at game at Pitt Meadows Arena last Wednesday.

Cause of Northern B.C. seaplane crash released

TSB releases report on seaplane crash during a water landing in 2016 near First Nations community

Vancouver police crack down on pop-up pot vendors

Officers raided merchants’ tables on Robson Square late Sunday

Bell Media, NFL take appeal over Super Bowl ad rules to top court

At issue is a ban on substituting American ads with Canadian ones during the game’s broadcast

Crown seeks 4.5 years jail for B.C. woman convicted of counselling tax evasion

Debbie Anderson the latest from group to face jail for teaching debunked ‘natural person’ theory

UPDATE: Brother of B.C. teen killed by stray bullet says the death left a void

Alfred Wong, 15, was gunned down in Vancouver while on his way home from dinner with his family

Most Read