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N.B. Day was a showcase for death and destruction

Letter to the Editor
August 13, 2009

The New Brunswick Day festivities at Government House were once again hijacked by the army, which used the day’s celebrations as an opportunity for recruitment and public relations.

The Gleaner offers a cheerful account of children scrambling through Leopard tanks and air defense anti-tank systems, “hopping on and off” helicopters, and admiring the “emerald-green” barrel of a Howitzer.

I wonder if they were informed that the victims of these killing machines are often children just like them.

It is bad enough that our media and popular culture are saturated with words and images that sanitize and romanticize the violence of war.

It is bad enough that the military is allowed to mislead and beguile our children on television and in high schools, universities and shopping malls.

Now New Brunswick Day is conflated with Armed Forces Day, and the residence of our lieutenant-governor, a man who has devoted his life to creativity, is made a showcase for instruments of death and destruction.

War ought to be the ultimate taboo, like cannibalism or child molestation. How sad that we continue to justify and glorify, and so perpetuate this atrocity to our children.

Peel away the flashy technology, the snappy uniforms, the macho camaraderie, the medals and bagpipes and marching bands, the thin sham of humanitarianism, and the icy professionalism that wants to make killing just part of the job, and you have war as it ever was and ever will be: unmitigated waste, brutality and murder – pure and simple.

Jeffrey Brown
Fredericton

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