last week selling poppies in my neck of the woods in Toronto. Both were in the army during WW II, one had enlisted when he was 17 and the other when he was 18. One had seen active duty. The other was stationed in Africa and spent 5 years on that continent. I bought a poppy off them and was pinning it to the right side of my coat, when both the gentlemen rose up from their chairs to do it for me. They said the poppy should be pinned on the "left" side of my coat and I joked and said "as I am a Conservative, the "right" side always acts as a magnet even on my body." That got a laugh and we started chatting. I had to raise my voice as one of the brave soldiers was hard of hearing, either due to age or the adverse effects of the sounds of shelling on eardrums, as I believe that is often the cause of deafness in soldiers.
I asked them what they thought of our role in Afghanistan. They were all praise and said that that is what Canada stands for, going to the aid of people who need it. They used my word "magnet" to describe how troubled places are like "magnets" for Canada to venture into and administer relief. However, they also had some misgivings about Afghanistan. They said the place is so vast and the enemy is not easily identifiable as such because they hide among civilians. They said: "We don't want the blood of innocent citizens on our hands and for that reason alone Harper will keep his word and we will move out as planned."
I asked them what they thought about the growing threat of islam in the West. They said it was Pakistan more than any other nation in the world that has radicalized young muslims in Canada and elsewhere. They said Sharia will never gain a foothold in Canada, not as long as they were still on guard for us. I told them I am ready to march with them against Sharia, just tell me where and when.
Our conversation would have continued a bit longer if some other patriots had not stopped by to pick up poppies from the two gentlemen. I wish I had asked their names and I wish I had my camera with me that day.
What great men and what a memorable conversation !! Thank you brave ones.