It’s rather fitting that Remembrance Day falls a week before North Okanagan residents head to the polls to elect new mayors, councils, school board trustees and regional district directors.
Casting a ballot is something we take for granted, to the point that voter turnout is consistently low. Compare that with Syria where protesters put their lives on the line against a ruthless regime. In many parts of the world, raising concerns about government can lead to you being imprisoned or tortured. Libya faces an uncertain future after overthrowing four decades of tyranny.
The fact that we can vote and openly ask our candidates questions at forums is a direct result of the sacrifices made on the battle fields in the two world wars, as well as Korea and subsequent conflicts. Young men and women, many of them from the North Okanagan, lost their lives so we can enjoy the community we live in today.
Imagine merchants and cyclists not being able to petition city hall over changes to 43rd Avenue? What if Coldstream residents could not challenge their council over development costs? Lumby residents were able to provide input on a proposed prison but in some countries, an arbitrary decision would be made.
Remembrance Day creates visions of aging veterans from wars long ago, but their actions still have a very real impact on our society today. Just the fact that you are reading this editorial proves that.
We urge everyone to take time today to remember our fallen soldiers and those still among us. Give thanks for the freedoms they have given us.
—The Morning Star