The Right Honorable Stephen Harper
Prime Minister, Ottawa, Canada.
Dear Mr. Harper;
You make me proud to be a Canadian!
Your speech at the gathering of the international parliamentarians in Ottawa on November 8th 2010, was a bench mark in world history. It was timely, weighty, inspirational and I believe of Churchillian magnitude. (National Post, November 9th 2010.)
Today, as a Canadian/Israeli dual citizen, I remember the ultimate price that my father Victor Alloway Rawlings paid on April 9th, 1945 for our freedom. He fell when his regiment of Canadian soldiers, The Regina Rifles were liberating Holland from Nazi oppression just three weeks before the war ended. I was 13 months old at the time.
Your speech brought tears to my eyes, because you expressed so clearly the ancient yet on going battle that each of us must fight. “We all must,”as you said, “stand up against evil and choose to promote freedom, democracy and justice; the universal principals of all civilized nations.”
I have spent the last 40 years in Israel, living and working there as a documentarist, TV producer, speaker and writer, trying to foster these ideals in the media. Now, my wife and I are on a sabbatical, residing in Parksville B.C. in the riding of my dear friend and your colleague Dr. James Lunney MP, Nanaimo- Alberni.
A few hours ago my son David excitedly called me from Jerusalem. “Dad did you see what Prime Minister Stephen Harper said yesterday? It’s in all the media here. This is exactly what you and Mom have said for decades now. Dad, take courage. Truth will prevail.”
I couldn’t agree more with my eldest son. His children’s great-grand parents and their entire generation of Berlin Jews were lost in Auschwitz as well as my father in Holland. Today, I was privileged to accompany Dr. James Lunney to the laying of the Wreath of Canada at the Remembrance Day service in Parksville, followed by later visits to Qualicum, Bowser, Lantzville and Nanaimo. My wife and I were deeply touched by the tremendous response of Canadians on this Memorial Day. I will take courage. The sacrifices of millions including our family in Holland and Auschwitz were not in vain;
nor are the efforts of our families in Canada and Israel today.
May you continue to be an anointed leader. May God give you courage in the face of many challenges. May you be an inspiration to other world leaders to have the courage to follow your outstanding example in promoting human dignity in their own countries and abroad.
Dr. John (Jay) Victor Rawlings
Jerusalem Vistas Canada Society