Friday, August 24, 2007

Forgetting to Remember

What do you know about Canada's military history? If you are older, you probably know alot more than today generation. This really has been an angering topic to me, as I personally believe that we should take pride in our country and what we have been able to achieve. I was disappointed in school, we didn't learn anything about our wonderful nation's contribution during both World Wars. We sacrificed our sons and daughters for freedom, and what do we do to honour them? We put on a small television special and stand in silence for a minute. However, we haven't taught kids what Canada really accomplished, and how much it cost us.
You want to know a depressing fact? Most of Canada's population don't know why Vimy Ridge is such an important part of our history. Actually, most people have no clue what or where Vimy Ridge even is.
Vimy Ridge was Canada's defining moment in military history. During World War 1 Canada was still a British Colony, and when Britain committed to war, we had no choice but to go to war as well. The British thought Canadian soldiers were inferior to them, as we had no historical records of being a military powerhouse like Britain was. Our soldiers often shrugged off direct orders from ranking officers as they weren't used to being told what to do. This didn't, however, change the way we fought.
Canada's sons first proved themselves to be more than capable soldiers at Ypres. Germans unleashed the first poisonous gas attack in the history of warfare at Ypres, the attack aimed directly for Canadian and French troops. When the French saw the green cloud of chlorine gas heading their way, they abandoned their positions and fled, leaving a huge gap of 4 miles in the line. Canadian troops, despite the choking gas that literally made people cough up their lungs, held not only their own line but also took over the French positions that had been abandoned. Not only did we survive the gas attack, we held until re-enforcements came days later. Out of 10 000 Canadians at Ypres, 6 000 were casualties.
At the Battle of Somme 24 000 Canadians are listed as casualties. The Newfoundland Regiment lost 710 out of 801 men, or almost 89% of the company strength. In other words, out of my class of 22 people, only about 2 people would have survived. And the depressing thing is that this was one mere battle of the war.
However, Vimy Ridge was the crowning jewel of the war for Canada. For the first and last time in our History, all 4 Canadian divisions fought together. We also had a Canadian commander by the name of Arthur Currie, the first time a Canadian had been able to command his divisions without a British superior officer.
Vimy had been assaulted before by the French, and it ended with the French losing 150 000 men. In comparison, Canada had a mere 10 000 casualties through the campaign. One reason that the Canadians were so successful was because they used a precision timed creeping barrage. 1 000 artillery pieces were used in the assault, sending shrieking rounds just in front of the Canadian soldiers to shield them from German view. They also split into small groups so they wouldn't be mowed down by German machine gun fire. The months of preparation paid off much better than what commanders guessed, with the Canadians took Vimy Ridge very quickly. In fact some Germans were still in PJ's when the Canadians found them.
But World War 1 wasn't the only war where Canadians proved themselves. In the Second World War Canadians made huge sacrifices for freedom. They braved harsh seas and German U-boats to send goods to Britain across the Atlantic Ocean.
Canadians also made a supreme sacrifice on the Beaches of Dieppe. The attack was poorly executed but the Canadians never stopped pushing forward. The attempt failed miserably but military planners say that the lessons learned from Dieppe helped save thousands of lives on D-Day.
But other countries can claim similar achievements, right? True, the Americans fought tooth and nail to take Iwo Jima, the Russians clung on to Stalingrad and eventually pushed the Germans out of Russia. But Canada had a reputation that totally contradicts their reputation as "peacekeepers" today. We were known as "shock troops", a feared group of soldiers that made enemy soldiers shudder. Opposing forces thought that Canadians were a group of wild men who knew no fear, as was never more evident than at Vimy.
The kilt-clad Nova Scotia Highlanders had an officer walk up Vimy casually twirling his cane admist a ferocious barrage. Lt-Col. Charles Cecil Ingersoll Merritt took off his helmet and walked across a bridge with bullets bouncing by his feet, spurring his men onward. The 1st CMRs raided German trenches on Christmas Day, destroying enemy positions and pushing the Germans back, as they weren't expecting anything so horrid on a sacrid day. And yes, the 1st CMRs did steal some presents from the Germans.
Even today enemy soldiers know of the gritty Canadian attitude and determination. A Canadian sniper in Afganistan killed an enemy soldier at a range of 2 500 yards. One heck of a shot indeed.
Yes, history may be boring at times, but it is important that we listen and learn of the sacrifices that were made to give Canadians the life that they live today. Men and women died for us so that we may live in peace and comfort, and to me they should all be considered hero's.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Mohawk Pics

Well, this is my latest haircut. A little extreme for some, but I really don't think that you should judge someone by their hair style. Well, I suppose you shouldn't judge anyone by the way look period. I won't be like this for long, I'll be bald for my Bible School debut. But for the time being, I will enjoy this new hairstyle.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Heading in a New Direction

A recent debate has once again surfaced in my household: hair. This time, however, it is not only my hairstyle. Rachel and Derek are both planning a major difference in the way they will look. They are both planning for dreads in the spring.
Wow, quite a shock, isn't it? Ya, took me by surprise too. Derek has had his shag for.....well, a very long time. Rachel usually has the same style of hair (from my view point anyway). And all of a sudden they both decide to go and get dreads? Cool, but kinda random.
However, they are both planning to get them done professionally, which is probably for the better. But there are two problems that I find with this.
The first problem is the time it takes. I heard, and mind you this is only what I heard, that this process takes 6-8 hours. A waste of a day if you ask me. But I suppose if you compare it to the 3 months minimum it takes to do it naturally, it is well worth it. At least they wouldn't have to put up with the greasy, string-like hair for ages.
The other problem is the money. I have absolutely no clue how much it takes to get this process done, but I imagine that it isn't cheap.
This being said, I think that they would both look pretty sweet when it would be all said and done. But I prefer to go the other way completely: bald.
I loved the short time that I was bald. I didn't have the hassle of combing my hair, washing it, drying it or it getting in my eyes and ears. It was colder for sure, but sacrifices must be made. It also took a while to shave it everyday, but I worked it into my schedule easily enough. Now I think that I will go bald again, hopefully by the end of this week. This decision is to the chagrin of my parents and siblings, along with most of my friends. But I'm heading to a place where no one knows me, and they will not know the real me. For all they know I would have been bald all my life.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Musical Poison?

OK, so there has been a very heated debate about Christian music. It seems to people that there should only be a certain type of music that should be accepted or a certain type of music that is "right". I have a problem with this, and I am about to express it.
It seems to me that alot of people (and I do mean alot) are musically prejudice. The don't look at all the factors and don't give alot of music a chance.
For instance, take the type of music known as "screamo". This is actually what was the deciding factor for me in writing this blog. People readily shun it, and I really mean that. They jeer and call down those who listen to it, sorta like they think that they are inferior. Christians are just as bad for this as anyone else, if not worse. I have noticed that alot of Christians are very close minded, very conservative. When you say "Christian music" most people will think country gospel or some light rock group. Ask them to mention Christian groups and names like Jeremy Camp, Jars of Clay, or Johnny Cash. Mainly country or gospel groups, right? Yes, you might have some heavier rock groups come up, something along the lines of Skillet or Kutless. But what if I was to say that I believe screamo bands like Underoath, As I Lay Dying and Maylene and the Son's of Disaster should be mentioned with all these gospel singers? If this doesn't shock you, listen to a short clip of a your favorite gospel song and then listen to a clip from one of the previously mentioned bands. This may raise eyebrows.
Now I know some people that would form a mob and threaten to lynch me just for mentioning screamo and gospel in the same sentence. These same people would argue that even Christian's singing this "devil's music" are horrible. Well, let me argue my point for a minute.
I believe this music situation could be put in a simpler term, as I have rambled on randomly. Now let me ask you a simpler question: Do you believe that the Bible should only be printed in a select few languages, or should it be printed in as many languages as it can be? It should be printed in many languages so that the Word can be spread, right?
Same situation in music if you can believe it. People have different tastes in music, just like different people speak different languages.
So, you get what I'm talking about? Christian screamo is not only acceptable, it is needed. So quit complaining about this music, it is extremely useful.

Thursday, August 2, 2007


OK, so I have a new blog entry under the month of June for anyone wanting to read it. It is entitled "Girls". Don't ask how it got under the month of June, as I have absolutely no clue.

Of Rough Hands And Rotten Luck

Ah summer, what a beautiful time. Beaches and sunburns, long days and short nights. A time to hang out with friends and family, to just have a blast while you are out of school. This summer has been anything but this for me.
No, I admit that I hate the beach and I don't burn too easily. I will be hanging around my family in a mere week, at the annual camp out. But as for the "having a blast", it is anything but.
This summer, short as it has been so far, has beaten me time and time again. I don't want to complain, but I will because it makes for a good blog.
In the month or so that I have been out of school, I have suffered illness, injury, grief and breakdowns. Here are some examples:
Well, for starters, my car broke down. Well, it still ran but a belt fell off my air conditioning, and then this belt tore off my power steering belt. Good thing it happened right around home, but it still rendered my car useless for a few days.
Second, my grandma is in the hospital with an infection. While she was there she probably had a slight heart attack, and this has probably delayed her recovery. She is completely worn out but is now walking around her room, so it is improving.
Then I got sick a couple of days, so I have had to miss some work. Not too major, but not fun at all. I also have had a few rocky days with friends, which kinda threw my emotions into high gear. However, I dealt with this and trudged on.
But now comes the injuries. I was playing some baseball in the park a couple of weeks ago and I was throwing a baseball back the the ball diamond when I got a sharp pain in my elbow. I let it throb for a few days before I went to the doctor. He examined me and told me that I have a tear in my major tendon. He suggested taking 2 weeks off work, but that won't happen.
Then just yesterday we were putting some rim-joist's into my bosses truck when one of them hit me in the chest. Must have been that, otherwise a box of nails. Anyway, it didn't really bother me until about 5 minutes later, when I noticed I couldn't get a full breath. When I got home I told my mom, and she phoned the hospital. They told me to come in, and so I did. It took about an hour and a half for me to start to breath normally again. The doctor said it is probably bruised ribs, maybe a bruised lung.
I kinda feel stupid writing this, like I expect pity from you people. However, I don't want any. I did this to myself, or some of it to myself. And no matter what I tell you, I will survive this. It actually isn't too bad, and it could definitely be way worse.