I have a hero.
My hero doesn't wear a cape, he doesn’t leap tall buildings, and he doesn’t have a sidekick. My hero wears a polyester uniform and he fixes trucks. There are thousands of other heroes just like him. My hero is my husband Andrew, and he is a soldier in the Canadian Armed Forces.
We've all met our fair share of bullies. Maybe you've met the playground bully who would throw stones at you, or call you names, or push you down. Maybe you've met the neighbourhood bully who eggs your house and steals your mail. There are bullies at work, there are bullies on the golf course, there are even bullies standing in line at the bank. But what happens when one bully gets together with all his bully friends and tries to bully the whole world? When instead of throwing stones, these bullies start throwing bombs, instead of calling you names they call you worthless and sinful. What happens when instead of pushing you down they try to eradicate you from the very planet?
What happens when that bully is so powerful that entire countries are afraid?
It's happened before. It's happening again.
What happens is war. There is a war being fought right now, and we are all a part of it. We've sent our husbands, wives, mommies, daddies, neighbours, cousins and friends off to war, and the number of those we've lost keeps increasing. This isn't ancient history, this is real. Every morning I wake up and I try to send a message to my husband just to make sure he's lived through his day. Every night he falls asleep on his bunk in a tent and listens to the staccato of gunfire from just outside camp. Last time he came home he spent months reaching for a rifle that wasn't there every time he saw movement in the shadows of our own home. The day after he landed back in Afghanistan last month he helped put another soldier on the plane home. That soldier was dead. Too many soldiers have been sent home in boxes. Too many times has Reveille rung out on foreign soil. Too many moments of silence marking far too many losses.
My husband won't tell me the things he does over there. I know he leaves camp to bring back broken trucks. He doesn't tell me how that big hulking truck had hit a landmine that opened it like a tin can, and he never tells me about the pieces of people left inside. He's told me he's had a gun pulled on him, a gun held by a child no older than six. He won't tell me what happened next. He loves me too much to tell me that. He loves you too much to let me tell you.
Every man and woman who leaves Canada to fight in the war does it because they believe in something so powerfully that they are willing to lay their lives down for it. They believe that everyone is equal. They believe all children have the right to go to school to get an education and grow up smart and strong. They believe that every single person in the whole wide world has the right to live and laugh and love and get very, very old healthfully and happily. They believe in you, they believe in me, and they believe that good will triumph over evil. They fight when they don't want to fight, because fighting is the only language bullies understand.
Someday, hopefully, we won't need to fight. Someday all children will hold books instead of guns, and mommies and daddies will be able to stay home and hold their babies in their arms instead of holding their pictures in their pockets. Someday all the world will learn that ideas will prevail where bullets fail, and that good always, always wins. Good wins when people like my husband take a stand against all the world's bullies and say "No. Stop. What you're doing is wrong, and I'm not going to let you hurt anybody else". Good wins when soldiers don't have to go away and leave loved ones behind. Good wins when we stand up for those people being picked on, and band together for what is right and fair. Good wins when the bombs stop falling.
My husband, and all the Canadian soldiers he stands shoulder to shoulder with are heroes. They're my heroes. They're your heroes. They are the world’s heroes.
Lest we forget.