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Freedom For Our Country

Heroes Remember

Freedom For Our Country

How fortunate we are to live in this wonderful country and I think unfortunately people don't realize how, in what a dangerous world we live in. And I often wonder in a country so divided by region and ethnicity and the divisions in the country are disturbing, I think. All this business about multiculturalism and so on. Having spent nearly seven years talking to high school students, I don't hear very much about being a Canadian and that disturbs me. When I think of what the 1,100,000 young Canadians went through in World War II to preserve this country with its traditions and its values, it disturbs me that I don't hear almost anything about being a Canadian. A common question asked by high school students is, “Why would you risk your life? Why would you undergo this horrendous experience of the military? Why did you do that?” And of course I say to them, “Well, why do you ask such a question?” And the answer is they have no concept of what the obligations of a Canadian citizen are. I don't know why but it's just amazing. The idea that they don't understand today that it is the duty and the responsibility of people when their society is in crisis to volunteer to do something about it. That's how you preserve your freedom and preserve this wonderful country and this wonderful culture we live in. The idea that freedom is not free, that we've had to pay for it and we must be prepared to pay for it in the future. We live in a very dangerous world and yet I don't see any concern on anybody's part about... with the values of this country as a whole. And yet no matter who you are or how rich you were if you had your choice I can't imagine where you would want to live anymore than in this country with its political stability and its civilization. And yet, millions of people around the world would love to live here and yet our high school students say, “Well, why would you want to risk your life? For what? What's here that's of any value?” That's what that question implies. The idea that somehow we can live without protecting ourselves with a military force in a dangerous world is utopian nonsense. We need, if we intend to be free, we're going to have to be prepared to defend ourselves. And it's too bad and it's unfortunate and war is a terrible thing but slavery is a hell of a lot worse. And for those who think that we don't need an armed force and that the world is full of lovely people who mean us no harm they ought to try slavery. They'll find out what it's like to live when the kind of world we live in is no longer possible.

Mr. MacDonell provides his view on how Canadians should preserve this wonderful culture and country that we live in and recounts how fortunate we are to be Canadian.

George MacDonell

Mr. MacDonell was born in Edmonton, Alberta on August 15, 1922. He lost his parents at an early age and was raised by his uncle and family. In 1939, he ran away from home and made the decision to join the army. Mr. MacDonell served as Company Sergeant Major during the Battle of Hong Kong and in 1941 was captured and was a POW for four years. Post-military, Mr. MacDonell earned his Bachelor of Arts at the University of Toronto and went on to have a successful business career. Mr. MacDonell is very active in his city and very proud of having served. Mr. MacDonell is retired and resides in Toronto, Ontario.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
George MacDonell
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Hong Kong
Royal Rifles of Canada
Vehicle Technician

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