Image copyright North York Peace Council
This year it has been more than a decade since the last Canadian fighter plane took to the skies to defend their country’s land and citizens against foreign warplanes. The flying years since Sept 11, 2001 have witnessed a new peacetime era for the North American skies, especially in Canada. With the exception of rare celebrations of military hardware such as the recent announcement of a return of warplanes to the RCAF, the much broader post-9/11 policies have seen a marked reduction in the number of Canadian fighter planes as they are returned to service. More specifically, Canadian fighter jets are deployed overseas to help in the fight against Islamic State and Iraq.
But what has been lost is the generation of future Canadian pilots who we once trained to fly in our skies. And it is not always readily apparent how people died since 2001. All too often, it is Canadians serving overseas who serve as targets of roadside bomb attacks on their patrols in the Middle East. Regardless of where the soldier from an area like Afghanistan worked, he or she made countless stops along their journey to and from work, leaving behind a homeland that often did not know what to do with their dead bodies.