The REAL enemies to our FREEDOMS are within the countries we cherish most.
A good friend of mine was riding his bicycle in a very upper income community in Montreal (Cote St Luc) last week, when he was pulled-over by community security, who admonished him for not wearing his bicycle helmet.
To say that my friend was outraged by this intrusion into his private life is a complete understatement . . . HE WAS FIT TO BE TIED. How dare the city tell a grown man that he MUST wear a helmet while bicycling or be FINED? What next? Will the city force him to wear kneepads, elbow pads and “armored” gloves as well?
You have to wonder how utterly STUPID we’ve become to allow our elected city councilors to dictate to us, how ADULTS should behave in our own PRIVATE lives.
The fact that former New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg wasn’t tarred, feathered, and run out of New York City on a rail for imposing his views on eating habits by making them LAW . . . is nothing short of a statement of total CAPITULATION.
I would ask how we “progressed” from being a FREE PEOPLE, mostly unencumbered by government restrictions, to the point today, where we have to ask for government permission to ride a bicycle without a helmet?
If a politician or bureaucrat were to ever campaign on a platform to TAKE AWAY PERSONAL FREEDOMS, they would be as done as burnt toast. But, when they chip away at our FREEDOMS, tiny piece by tiny piece, which is almost unnoticeable, they get away with it. AND BY THE TIME IT DOES GET NOTICED . . . IT’S TOO LATE.
Every time we allow a politician or bureaucrat, no matter how high or low he or she is in the pecking order, to make any kind of RESTRICTION on our FREEDOMS, we are SUCCUMBING to the will of government.
AND MAKE NO MISTAKE ABOUT THIS . . . the FREEDOMS we lose today, will not easily be restored tomorrow without a revolution of sorts, be it political or otherwise, because, once the bureaucracy has their POWER over us, they will not relinquish it without a fight.
I did something this past Sunday, June 1, 2014 that I have done TWICE in the past; also on the FIRST Sunday of June, that gives me extraordinary PRIDE.
I stood with Canada’s military HEROES in HONOR of all of Canada’s fighting men and women who VOLUNTEERED to CARRY the SHARP POINT OF THE SPEAR against our enemies, so we can enjoy the FREEDOMS most people take for granted.
The National Memorial Ride is an annual MOTORCYCLE event that pays TRIBUTE to all our WARRIORS, who are remembered for their sacrifice, whether they died in battle, sickness, accidents, or of old age . . . WE REMEMBER THEM BECAUSE THEY SERVED.
This annual event is held in Ottawa’s National Military Cemetery.
THE HONOR THAT I’M BESTOWED . . . is to lay a WREATH in the name of Jewish Canadian Soldiers and Motorcyclists who PLEDGE NEVER AGAIN to a SECOND Holocaust.
As I lay the WREATH . . . I consciously think of my late parents, both of whom served during World War II, my Mom on the Home Front . . . my Dad who was by every measure a TRUE War Hero, who was acknowledged many times for extraordinary courage above and beyond the call of duty, to the point where Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands appointed my dad as a Member In The Order Of the Bronze Lion.
The photo that you see from LEFT to RIGHT, includes myself, Fighter Pilot Major Greg Shepherd (CF-18’s retired), who served with distinction in the Balkans amongst other theatres of conflict.
Standing next to Major Shepherd is Maureen Eykelenboom, whose son Andrew, known to his comrades-in-arms as BOOMER, gave his life to a Suicide Bomber on August 11, 2006 in Afghanistan. BOOMER volunteered that day to complete an extra mission to save lives, since he was one of Canada BRAVEST of them all, as a COMBAT Medic.
To the far right of the photo is Sargent Trapper Cane (retired), who also served in Canada’s military as one of our ELITE Snipers, always at the FRONT, always in harm’s way. Trapper is about to retire as the Commander of the CAV, Canada’s Army Veteran’s Motorcycle Riders.
This Sunday was the first time I met Maureen Eykelenboom, but like other Canadian mothers I had met who lost a son fighting in Afghanistan, so we won’t have to fight at home, her pain will never end. And there is no way in the world we can thank her enough for her unique sacrifice.
I met Greg Shepherd, who is known to his friends as SHEP, when I organized the Parliament Hill Pledge Ride. I heard about him and his NMR (National Memorial Ride) of which he was the CEO at that time, and asked him to speak at the Pledge Event, to which he delivered a fabulous address.
I was told about another incredible Canadian HERO by the name of Trapper Cane, who was coming to the Ottawa Pledge Ride just to be there, and asked him if he would speak as well. He said yes, and delivered a speech that still has people talking.
Trapper is a Wounded Warrior who formed the CAV, and is loved and respected wherever he goes on his BIKE, on his nonstop journeys across Canada and the USA promoting the TROOPS.
Last week, for Memorial Weekend, Trapper rode to Washington DC (Rolling Thunder) with a large number of CAV Riders, and another friend of mine, Lou DeVuono, who established and organizes the annual HHR, the HEROES HIGHWAY RIDE, which attracts THOUSANDS of BIKERS who pay tribute to our fallen Canadian Troops who gave it their all in Afghanistan.
Laying the WREATH was a very bittersweet experience for me . . . bitter, knowing that all the men and women I am honoring have passed away, and sweet in the knowledge that they are not forgotten.
Just prior to the WREATH laying and afterwards, prayers were delivered for the memories of those whom we came to honor, and for our troops who still serve.
Padre Richard Durrett, one of several people of the cloth who delivered prayers, touched the right chord, when in his prayer; he thanked and blessed CANADIANS and AMERICANS for their sacrifice and service, which made me very happy, since Anne and I fly both flags at home, and I ride with both flags on my BIKE.
In spite of the extraordinarily bad leadership America has seen since the days of Ronald Reagan, when under Republican and Democratic Presidents . . . entitlements grew, government spending grew, the size of government grew, and regulations were piled-on non-stop . . . and as remarkable as it is, and in spite of all the bad government and an UNCARING and IGNORANT nation, America is still the sharp end of the SPEAR OF FREEDOM.
And for all its small size in numbers, no country on earth, with the exception of tiny Israel PUNCHES so far greater than its weight than does Canada.
And as our FREEDOMS are being chipped away day in and day out. And as the vast majority of people in our two countries (Canada and the USA) don’t have a clue as to what’s happening to their RIGHTS, FREEDOMS and OPPORTUNITIES, I at least had the GREAT HONOR of laying a WREATH on behalf of those who served, while standing with men and women who asked for little, but were willing to give so much.
Most Americans and Canadians don’t deserve the FREEDOMS they enjoy, simply because they’ve done NOTHING to earn them, and do NOTHING to keep them.
Whether in the military or not, those of us who do care, will continue to soldier-on.
Because, if we who care for FREEDOM and the sacrifice paid in Blood, Treasure and Loss of those who fought for all of us to be FREE do nothing and say nothing, where are we any better than the enemies who would destroy us?
Best Regards . . . Howard Galganov