There are people in the Comox Valley who oppose war in all its forms.
That is a defensible argument. Unless you're an arms supplier, not much good arises from warfare.
Any good, such as the kick-start to the U.S. economy that happened during and after the Second World War, is surely outweighed by the death of so many people, the widespread destruction and lingering hatred toward “the other side.”
The latter factor sets the stage for future wars, a self-perpetuating horror the world could do without.
There are many reasons why pacifists exist.
As is often the case, simplifying such a complex issue is difficult, and often fraught with wishful thinking.
Practising pacifism is laudable, but by itself is not the answer against people and nations that do not share those values.
As U.K. Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain discovered before the Second World War, aggressors like Hitler interpret appeasement as weakness.
So do all bullies, who respect force and nothing else.
Rather than pursue an argument in favour of warfare, though, let's focus on the fact that Canadians have fought and continue to fight in service of their country.
However much we might disagree with our government's decision to commit our military to an overseas conflict, Canadians can recognize that some of us choose to volunteer to serve in the armed forces.
If they're lucky, they will never have to risk their lives while representing their country.
Some Canadians are not so lucky. Some were our grandparents and parents. We know some because they are stationed at CFB Comox.
We remember the names Mark Isfeld and Andrew Eykelenboom because of their sacrifice.
Regardless of your thoughts about war, take a moment Sunday at 11 a.m. to give silent thanks to those who have served, those who have died and those who still risk their lives for all of us.