It’s often said doing this three-day weekend that the real purpose of Memorial Day has long been forgotten. Writers, commentators and journalist around the country draw attention to the sacrifices made by those men and women who lost their lives defending our freedom and the freedom of others. Many were brave, many felt fear as life slipped away, none wanted to die, yet they did in service to our country.
No one mentions the lives of the horses lost in battle, the extreme sacrifices they made for our freedom. Although they aren’t used in our battle anymore, they were the forerunners of our freedoms and they too died on the battlefields by the thousands. While we would never equate the lives of horses to the lives of soldiers, we need to be mindful of all horses have given to us, and on no better day should that be done than Memorial Day.
Even as our soldiers are dying in the battlefields of Afghanistan, our horses are dying in another great battle. Just as before, they have no choice in the matter. We appointed ourselves as their keepers, their guardians and their protectors many centuries ago. We once rode them into battle. This time we’re sending them by themselves to die, not for our freedom, but for their flesh. Once they sacrificed their lives for our freedom. Now they sacrifice their life for greed, and our magnificent country, the very country for which so many men and women died, finds such greed to be perfectly acceptable.
Battles fought under the guidance of misguided politicians have never been successful without the help and determination of the brave men and women in the field. The battle for our horses will never be won without the help of those who love them. Together, we need to strengthen our resolve to redirect the politicians, to close the slaughterhouses and to keep our horses home and alive.
Together, as a nation, we stand before our flag and salute our fallen heroes. Sadly, some of our heroes continue to die, and the fallen horses of our ongoing battle deserve nothing less than our total determination to end their horror. In their honor, in their name, our battle continues.
May no man rest until the last horse is safe.
For more information on the proposed Memorial to the horses killed in war at Ottawa’s Confederation Park, please click here.