Simply, there are just no excuses

We have just two things to do — the rest can wait.

We have just two things to do — the rest can wait.

Most, if not all, of us lead lives that are dominated with duties, obligations, responsibilities and pastimes that challenge the 24 hours we are given each day.

Work, family, school, cleaning the gutters, feeding the dog, et. al., the list of things we need to get done on any given day seems to consume our lives, and the thought of a day off to do nothing, to decompress, is appealing to all of us.

So, next Tuesday, go ahead, take the day off — well, take 22 hours.

For 22 of those 24 hours, go ahead, put your feet up, relax and do whatever it is you enjoy — you deserve it.

However, for a couple of hours next Tuesday, Nov. 11,  show your respect to those who made it possible for you to live the busy life you have chosen to lead.

Although there are some essential service workers who will be working on our national holiday and others too ill, for the rest of us, on Remembrance Day, there is no justifiable excuse for not making your way down to the Prince Rupert cenotaph by 11 a.m.

Turnout on Remembrance Day in Prince Rupert has, in my experience, been heartening.

Babies to near-centenarians are there. Able-bodied men and women from all races and cultures are there. Men and women on canes and in wheelchairs are there. Uniformed personnel and civilians are there. They are there to honour those who did their duty, some who paid the ultimate price, and to show the necessary respect for those who made no excuses.

Other than those too ill or providing an essential service, every person in this community should be at the service.

Any other reason for not attending is just an excuse that cannot be excused.

Four days later comes one of the rewards earned by that duty, sacrifice and blood — a democratic election.

Some would argue that it is a right not to cast a vote. For whatever reason, whether personal or political, some want to do their civic duty but just can’t hold their nose long enough to make their mark on a ballot. Fair enough.

If that is your reason for not wanting to vote, then do so by showing up at the polling station, registering and cast a blank ballot that will be rejected. You’ve done your duty and exercised your democratic right.

For all others eligible to vote, not voting is inexcusable.

There are advance polls, special polls, even mobile voting opportunities for those who are too ill, or for those who find the general election day is inconvenient.

Then there are those who say their vote just doesn’t matter. These people, above all, need to be at the cenotaph on Tuesday.

I’d ask them then to read all the names on the cenotaphs across this great nation and then look into the eyes of those who have or are serving and tell them that what they have done in service to this country didn’t matter.

Anyway you want to look at it, not attending or not voting is just a disrespectful and poor excuse.

After all the sacrifice and service, the very least you can do are these two simple things, the rest can wait.

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