Letter to the editor – Merrickville’s military re-enactment

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Dear Editor,

Merrickville’s military re-enactment opens old wounds. Merrickville-Wolford Council, after defeating a request to hold a WWII re-enactment at its Fair Grounds, reconsidered (within a week) and decided to go ahead with this event, even after the objections of many of its tax-paying residents. This event will take place on the long-weekend May 18-21, barely a month after the gruesome terrorist attack in Toronto.

This is the same Council who promised me, when they came to my door four years ago, to govern with open card and would inform me of any future plans they would come up with, and seek our thoughts and feelings before any implementation. Well they didn’t. They let the community down. Having an event, such as this re-enactment, opens many old wounds for those who were born at a time when the secondary experiences of the horrors of the Second World War were evident. It is especially discriminatory to those of German descent.
This re-enactment is strictly a commercialization and glorifications of a war that happened 73 years ago, played by people who barely know when it took place and what happened. It is unjustifiable to hear council’s rejection of Councillor Victor Suthren’s objection, who spoke against this re-enactment. Suthren’s objections were valid. Unfortunately, Council told him that he could not show what wartime was like in real life. I am 72 and learned every detail of the atrocities committed by both sides during this awful war that lasted five years. Every day, in school or at the home, we learned something. History should be taught and learned at school, not by playing war games by people with no experience of the past.

I came to Canada, as a young Dutch emigrant, under a partnership agreement between the Canadian and Dutch governments, in the mid-60s. Many Dutch and German emigrants came here before me, during the fifties, to allow them to re-build their destroyed lives.

This council is disconnected from the people it serves. They would not even respond to my emails (except for a brief response from the mayor).

Council and I will have a second discussion on this topic when they come knocking on my door this Fall.

William J. Langenberg – a Merrickville Resident

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