From America With Gratitude
Written by David Meadows, a retired U.S. Navy Captain who has served on numerous U.S. warships, the Joint Staff and has nearly 10 years at sea, it's a heartfelt 'thank you' to the men and women of the Canadian Forces, that was published in Canada's National Post after appearing in Military.com
On April 22, 2006, four Canadian soldiers were killed in Afghanistan by a roadside bomb. Respects go to the families of those heroes who stand alongside the United States in the war against terrorism half a world away.
Canada is like a close uncle who often complains about what you're doing. But when help is truly needed, you can't keep him away: He's right there beside you.
We Americans have a unique relationship with Canada. We have different political positions on many issues, but our unique friendship has weathered world wars, global crises, and occasional neighbourly disagreements.
In February 2006, without fanfare, Canada increased troop strength in Afghanistan to 2,300. With the American military stretched thin against rising instability in both Iraq and Afghanistan, this assistance was very much appreciated.
Katrina was another example of our close family-like relationship. Katrina struck the Gulf Coast on August 29, 2005. Two days later, the Vancouver Urban Search and Rescue Team rushed from British Columbia to Saint Bernard Parish, Louisiana. The Canadians were the first responders in that area. Indeed, within the devastated Gulf Coast area overall, it appears Canada generally was the first responder outside of local efforts. They worked 18-hour days, going door-to-door alongside Louisiana State Troopers, rescuing 119-Americans.
For those who think that loud voices of dissent towards America and the Bush Administration's War on Terror are representative of the way all Canadians think...I'm hear to say you're wrong!
Canada has been such an integral partner with the United States in the Global War on Terrorism that on December 7, 2004, when President Bush awarded the Presidential Unit Citation to Commander Joint Force South for combat success in Afghanistan, he was also recognizing the secretive Canadian Joint Task Force 2 commando counter-terrorism unit.
The U.S. Department of Defense has awarded 30 Bronze Star medals for heroism in combat to Canadian Forces personnel. Some of those 30 died in action. Many of the others were wounded. These Canadians earned this American medal for heroism fighting alongside Americans. We must remember that these warriors gave their lives not only for Canada, but also for the United States.
This is why Canada can not, must not, and will not give asylum to American military deserters!
Canada's military stands united with America's military when it comes to dealing with those that will stop at nothing to destroy the freedoms we strongly value.
Canada is more than a neighbour. It is a close family member with the gumption to disagree with its brother to the south, but always there when disaster strikes and America needs help. For that, I salute you, Canada, and extend my respect for the sacrifices given by members of the Canadian Forces.
Some Canadians would rather take the approach of the left wing liberals in the U.S. which involves simply sitting around passively, foolishly convinced that 'talking' will stifle the clearly laid out aims and objectives of Al Queda's Bin Laden and Al Zarquawi.
Thankfully, Canada's Military, led by Lt.General Rick Hillier will NOT stand by idly while our enemy continues his fanatical mission to destroy our lives and liberty! The men and women of the American and Canadian armed forces understand what David Beamer, Todd's father, so eloquently and powerfully expressed on the eve of the release of "United 93":
This film further reminds us of the nature of the enemy we face. An enemy who will stop at nothing to achieve world domination and force a life devoid of freedom upon all. Their methods are inhumane and their targets are the innocent and unsuspecting. We call this conflict the "War on Terror." This film is a wake-up call. And although we abhor terrorism as a tactic, we are at war with a real enemy and it is personal.
There are those who would hope to escape the pain of war. Can't we just live and let live and pretend every thing is OK? Let's discuss, negotiate, reason together. The film accurately shows an enemy who will stop at nothing in a quest for control. This enemy does not seek our resources, our land or our materials, but rather to alter our very way of life.
Todd Beamer and the brave men & women of United Flight 93 did NOT sit back passively even when they knew death was inevitable. They found the courage to do what was necessary, and acted with valor in the face of inevitability! They FOUGHT BACK.
These brave heroic passengers should serve as an inspiration to all Canadians and Americans to find the courage to stand united in the fight against this unrelenting enemy; and to support those who willingly put themselves in harms way in order to "continue the counterattacks on our enemy, and in so doing keep us safe and our freedoms intact".