(Canada in Mourning - statue on the Vimy Memorial)
It is Easter Sunday. It is a day when Christians around the world rejoice that Christ is risen. But our joy this Easter is tempered by the news from Afghanistan that seven have fallen. Six Canadian soldiers, and in a separate attack one American soldier, were killed today in Afghanistan by an explosive device placed by someone who follows the Koran.
It is often said, by the superficial among us, that religion kills more people than anything else. That is not true, as the mass murders of 20th century pagan Nazis and athiestic Marxists-Leninists and Maoists attest. But I grant superficial readers their premise that many wars have religion at the root of the conflict, for the simple reason that religious convictions are among the deepest convictions we humans possess.
I don't know what the religious beliefs the slain soldiers had. I know what religion motivated their killers. The latter is not one I choose to emulate.
These words of Pericles are a most fitting tribute for today's fallen warriors.
Each has won a glorious grave - not that sepulchre of earth wherein they lie, but the living tomb of everlasting remembrance wherein their glory is enshrined. For the whole earth is the sepulchre of heroes. Monuments may rise and tablets be set up to them in their own land, but on far-off shores there is an abiding memorial that no pen or chisel has traced; it is graven not on stone or brass, but on the living hearts of humanity.Amen.
Take these men for your example. Like them, remember that prosperity can be only for the free, that freedom is the sure possession of those alone who have the courage to defend it.