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Opinion

Peace-keeping veteran says only the red poppies please

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Submitted by Mark E. Meincke

About those white, and rainbow poppies……

Here is what the poppy means, and why I implore people to STOP with both the white poppy, and the rainbow infused poppy.  Contaminating the poppy through co-opting, is NOT ok.

The Poppy was first adopted as a symbol of recognition, and remembrance for soldiers in WW1 and was inspired by the poem, In Flanders Fields. Since then, the poppy has become such a sacred symbol, that it has formed part of the Canadian Military uniform during Remembrance Day ceremonies.

The poppy is a very specific symbol, meant to be used exclusively to respect the ineffable sacrifice of our Military and Veterans, especially the soul gouging sacrifice associated with battle. Any co-opting of the hallowed flowered symbol can do nothing but diminish the original intentions for the poppy.

The White Poppy, though arguably ill conceived from it’s outset, is almost as old as the Veteran’s poppy. The altruistic original intent of the white poppy however, stands in opposition to the unwelcome perceived meaning which it tends to emit. Today the white poppy stands as a beacon of anti-veteran sentiment, which makes it very disrespectful to wear on November 11th.

Pro-Peace is a noble pursuit, however wearing a white poppy to promote peace is a risk free lip-service which spits in the face of those who actually risked it all to physically fight for peace.

If you wish to promote peace, wear a white dove on your lapel, or better yet, sign up for the Military Reserves and jump aboard the next peace-keeping mission that comes along. The dove offends no one, so please wear that instead of slapping Veterans and Military members in the face.

And now, about that rainbow infused Poppy….

Seriously, WTH? Is the point of this sacrilegious co-opting to acknowledge the fact that within the military, and Veteran community, we too have a segment who identify themselves as being within the LGBTQ+ community? If so, then you have NO idea what being a soldier is all about. We are the most pro-LGBTQ advocates ever!

When a soldier is in battle, NOTHING could matter less than the sexual, or gender orientation of their fellow soldier. All we care about is whether or not you have buddies six. The rest is totally irrelevant. Co-opting the poppy by infusing the rainbow creates DIVISION, not inclusion.

The battle field is the most inclusive environment on earth. If you are shooting in the same direction, then you are included as an equal…period. Nobody cares about who you are attracted to, or which gender you identify as, the only salient measure is your character, and ability to do your job. Be brave, do your job, and you have the respect of your peers. It’s that simple.

So, wear your rainbow flag, get a rainbow tattoo, commemorate the LGBTQ+ community any which way you wish, and we will ALL stand firm for your right to do so. But, please leave our poppy alone. The poppy is a hallowed symbol which must remain pure.

Mark E. Meincke
Peace-Keeping Veteran

Army Veteran, Multi-Award Winning Author, Podcast host, and PTSD survivor / advocate

Community

The Little Red

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Title The Little Red

The Little Red by Tim Lasiuta

From time immemorial, the creek has flowed.

Its life blood, the swiftly flowing stream that has ebbed and surged has both moved and has been moved through the gently hilled landscape.

Around it, the land has been home to natives and immigrants for at least 12,000 years and possibly as long as 20,000 years.   Migrating bands of natives had called this area home, using the rich resources of animal life and water supply to feed their people.  Summer camps, winter camps and elk/buffalo pounds all lie beneath what we now call Red Deer.

“…If Shakespeare were here, he might write sonnets…”

Cree legends speak of the Great Spirit and what we now call the Medicine Hills noting events we deem to be 12,000 years ago.

With the arrival of immigrant settlers and the exploration of Central Alberta by Thompson and others, the dwindling supply of buffalo and the breaking of traditional land into settler lots the wandering creek still brought life but now became a symbol of a burgeoning settlement.

Mankind has traditionally settled near water, and the hamlet and later town, and city of Red Deer did the same.  What was once viewed as a source of life was now a feature to be seen as an anchor to the wild beauty of the area.  Like the elders of the native tribes before him, Kerry Wood fought for the natural areas in his beloved community and his hand is obvious for those who look.

Creek and forest

We, as present citizens of the city of Red Deer, cannot ignore the legacy that the ‘keepers of the land’ left behind.

Pre-contact natives looked on this land as far as the eye could see and deemed it a blessing from the Great Spirit.  Great chiefs looked on this land as their charge, and considered it a responsibility to protect the land.

Farmers look on their land as their responsibility to keep and protect for future generations.

Modern day urban and real estate planners look on priceless natural areas as part of urban development with an eye to profit than to protection.

Once upon a summer day, I wandered through the Bower area and I discovered a treasure.

Turning  a corner into the east side of the green area by Bower Mall, the beauty of the wandering creek overwhelmed me.  The summer day sun just magnified the greatness of the area.  Birds sang songs to each other and the silence that encompassed the aerial arias was magnificent.  The sheer experience of the time was priceless.

All around me the might trees swayed in a slight breeze and the warm air flowed around me.  Looking north, south and east the hand of our Creator was obvious.  True beauty cannot be bought, engineered, nor constructed by human hands.

Such is the heart of the jewel that is Red Deers natural areas.

This area, as seen in the photos cannot be replaced by a bridge, walkway, or overpass.  In fact, the beauty of the area will be lost forever.

It is not hard to imagine that centuries ago young braves and their families set camp beside the creek and enjoyed life.  If you could listen to the past, you might hear sounds of campfire conversations, drum circles, singing and laughing.

More importantly, they, like modern citizens today, and myself on this day, knew this was a special place that perhaps was sacred for some and just a place of rest for others.

If Samuel Taylor Coleridge were here, he might compose Xanadu.

If Shakespeare were here, he might write sonnets.

If the Sons of the Pioneers were here with instruments, they might compose a haunting song like “Blue Prairie,” or “The Touch of Gods Hand.”

An artist might paint a moving memory.

Young lovers from all eras might declare their everlasting love to each other.

Yet, we, as a city, are considering its desecration.

Today, it is a reminder that we cannot and should not consider turning this priceless area into a traffic zone.

We should never, ever forget that our responsibilities to shepherding and managing the land must consider environment over people every time.

Take a moment, look at these pictures and ponder…..Bridge or beauty….

Tim Lasiuta is a local writer with interests in history preservation, from environmental to pre-contact native archaeology, faith and telling stories that matter in Central Alberta.  His work has appeared in Canadian Cowboy Country, True West Magazine, Mad Magazine, Alberta Venture, in published anthologies and Comic Buyers Guide.

You can contact Tim at timlasiuta@hotmail.com.

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Alberta

Premier Kenney wants to share this video with the nation: A message from BC MLA Ellis Ross

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Ellis Ross is the B.C. Liberal MLA for Skeena and was chief councillor for the Haisla First Nation from 2013 to 2017.

(This was pulled from a facebook post submitted by Premier Jason Kenney)

Former Haisla chief councillor, now BC MLA Ellis Ross nails it in the article below

“Professional protesters and well-funded NGOs have merely seized the opportunity to divide our communities for their own gains, and ultimately will leave us penniless when they suddenly leave.”

Read it here: http://bit.ly/2OR2yAX

 

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february, 2020

sun12jan(jan 12)2:00 pmsun22mar(mar 22)5:00 pmAnne Frank: A History for Today opening at Red Deer MAG(january 12) 2:00 pm - (march 22) 5:00 pm mst Red Deer Museum & Art Gallery Address: 4525 - 47A Avenue, Red Deer

sun02feb(feb 2)7:00 pmsun15mar(mar 15)8:00 pm7:00 pm - (march 15) 8:00 pm Festival Hall, 4214 58 St, Red Deer, AB Event Organized By: Country Pride Dance Club

tue25feb5:30 pm7:30 pmDiabetes Discussion Drop InLearn about Type 2 diabetes5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

wed26feb7:30 pm11:00 pmCeltic Illusiion7:30 pm - 11:00 pm

thu27feb5:30 pm7:00 pmMonthly Mindfulness Drop-In5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

fri28febsun01mar54th Annual Sport & Outdoor Show4:00 pm - (march 1) 9:00 pm

fri28feb6:00 pm11:00 pmFriday Family DanceFamily Dance6:00 pm - 11:00 pm

fri28feb7:00 pm11:00 pmBattle of the Bands for Crime Prevention7:00 pm - 11:00 pm Burgundy's Food & Stage, 5008 48 ST Event Organized By: The Central Alberta Crime Prevention Centre

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