Thursday, November 11, 2004

The Greatest Canadian?

The CBC has been on a quest for the Greatest Canadian for many months and has solicited input from across the land. On the final list of ten, we have:

- the world's greatest hockey player
- one of the world's most irreverent sportscasters
- our first Prime Minister
- a socialist Prime Minister
- another Prime Minister
- a socialist Premier of Saskatchewan, who did one good thing
- the inventor of the telephone
- the discoverer of insulin
- a one-legged runner who inspired a nation
- a geneticist, posing as a climatologist on tax-payer dollars

I was at the Remembrance Day ceremony in Edmonton, when it hit me like a ton of bricks, prompted by an old saying that was read aloud.

It is not the reporter who gave us freedom of speech. It is not the priest who gave us freedom of religion. It is not the campus activist who gave us freedom of assembly. It is not the lawyer who gave us freedom from injustice. It is not the politician who gave us the freedom to vote. As good as some of the ten finalists above may have been at what they accomplished, none of them gave us anything without the help of the person who gave us everything - The Veteran.

The Greatest Canadian - hands down - no questions asked - is the man who lays in repose at the foot of the Centaph in Ottawa. The Greatest Canadian is The Unknown Soldier.

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