What a difference a week makes. This past Sunday, the Sunshine Coast stopped to honour heroes from another century - the men and women, some then as young as 16, who stepped forward to stop the onslaught of Hitler and his cronies on our world. It wasn't hard to find people with memories of June 6, 1944. They were everywhere. From the man who remembered being an 11-year-old in an English boarding school who couldn't sleep because of the airplanes that kept coming. Block after block of aircraft came, flying in a square formation. The din was deafening, the sky black from their presence.
Another soldier, spurred on by TV coverage of the D-Day memorial, wore his uniform to church. Although his memories have been dimmed by the passage of time, the man's accomplishments remain, not least of which is the award of Member of the Order of the British Empire. Captain Ellaf Olafson was 28 when his engineering genius resulted in a bridge that could literally be made in a day. The citation accompanying his award recognized the Olafson Bridge as standard equipment for the infantry battalions of 1 Canadian Division. Proud and trim, still able to wear his uniform like many of his fellow veterans, Olafson was one of many who inspired awe on this special day. Another man remembered the time in Sicily when a man's head was blown up directly in front of him. "I don't think I'll ever forget it," Bob Maxwell said. Indeed.
And that was the part of the week worthy of remembering.
Fast-forward to Wednesday, to what is becoming an all-too-frequent event in southern B.C. Police bust an amphetamine lab on the Sunshine Coast.
The people who make a living poisoning others have been shut down. This time the enemy isn't flying overhead. Instead the danger is coming from within, making freedom of choice a mockery. People voluntarily blowing their own heads off. We can't help but wonder what their memories will be 60 years hence.