The Canadian Forces Snowbirds perform over Nanaimo last week. (NICHOLAS PESCOD/The News Bulletin)

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Snowbirds’ militarism shouldn’t be celebrated

The public has accepted this military demonstration team as benign entertainment, says letter writer

To the editor,

Re: Snowbirds to perform in Nanaimo, Aug 7.

On Aug 6, Mayor Krog spoke to those gathered to observe the anniversary of the Hiroshima atomic bombing in 1945. He warned there was frightening complacency in our country about peace and much to be done to ensure that the horror of nuclear warfare is never repeated.

Canada is not, of course, a nuclear power. However, MP Paul Manly reminded us at the gathering that this country is part of what President Eisenhower called the military industrial complex. We make weapons of war, we sell them, and, I add, we often don’t care who the buyer is.

With regard to the Snowbirds, surprisingly, the Canadian public has for years accepted this military demonstration team as benign entertainment. But the aircraft involved are modified jet fighters, and the government acknowledges the Snowbirds are an important public relations and recruiting tool for the Canadian Forces.

According to Canadian historian Yves Engler, the Snowbirds are one element of a massive and costly military cultural outreach that celebrates and commemorates wars and battles, builds war monuments, and funds Remembrance Day services and ongoing war-related ‘awareness’ programs.

“It’s time for a concerted challenge to this unbridled militarism,” says Engler, and we agree. Canadians should repudiate any and all manifestations of military response to conflict in a world that’s steeped in war.

Dianne Varga and Linda Taffs, Nanaimo

RELATED: Snowbirds bring their sights and sounds to the sky above Nanaimo

The views and opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are those of the writer and do not reflect the views of Black Press or the Nanaimo News Bulletin. If you have a different view, we encourage you to write to us or contribute to the discussion below.

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