Letters: week of Nov. 23

Why Remembrance Day shouldn’t be a holiday

Sir: On Nov. 11 I travelled to Chatham to instruct a class of 22 men ages 17-30 on how to become good hockey coaches.

On the way, I thought about pausing at 11 a.m. for a moment of silence to remember those who fought for our freedom. I didn’t know how the young participants would respond.

During a break, a young man asked if I was doing something at 11 a.m. I said yes, and asked him if he could let me know the time as it got closer.

At 11 a.m. he gave a nod and I asked everyone to rise. They all rose and removed their hats. As we lowered our heads in prayer, Taps began to play from someone’s cell phone. My heart swelled.

One of Hockey Canada’s objectives is to have coaches, players and parents understand that sport is more than the game; it’s about the development of the whole child.

Prior to our moment of silence, the coaches made lists of what long-term player development meant to them. The top word listed was RESPECT.

It is one thing to write a word down and another to enact it. These 22 young men proved they understand the importance of respect in sports.

I asked the class why this moment of silence meant so much to them? The answers varied, but a common theme was they remembered in school how important it was to the students and teachers to honour the fallen.

I then asked, “Do you think Remembrance Day should be a civic holiday?” All 22 of them said no, because children wouldn’t have the experience or understanding that schools offer in remembering our past.

The clinic was much more than a bunch of guys learning how to coach, it was an understanding of the importance of respect for one another and of the importance of our past, present and future.

On my drive home back to Sarnia I realized our future is in good hands.

The Sarnia Minor Athletic Association motto once was: Good Sportmanship today leads to Good Citizenship tomorrow

Lest we forget.

Jeff Allen
Sarnia


Bureaucrats in charge

Sir: The real power in Canadian politics is in the bureaucracy, not the politicians.

Sarnia can have all the deputy mayors it wants, but all of the councillors can just vote once on the recommendations made by municipal staff.

The bureaucrats of Sarnia and Lambton County have more say in how things are run than councillors or citizens do. Councillors are concerned citizens who mean well when they run for council. But once elected they become the victims of bureaucrats, who don’t have to answer to the people.

Jeff Williams
Bright’s Grove