FACE TO FACE: Does Canada sufficiently honour those who have served?
It's great to see large numbers of Canadians flock to their local cenotaphs each Remembrance Day to honour our fallen soldiers.
It's a shame, however, that it only lasts one day.
For the rest of the year, it seems our soldiers - living or dead, past or current - are disrespected and even forgotten.
Canada has a disgraceful history when it comes to commemorating the efforts of its military personnel.
It took almost 20 years after the devastation of the First World War for the federal government to design and erect the national war monument, which was known as "The Response."
The inclusion of the Second World War and the Korean War on the sides of the monument didn't take place until 1982 while the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was added in 2000.
Canadian war veterans have also raised concerns about the lack of recognition for those who died as part of NATO missions during the Cold War.
In September, families of Canadian soldiers who lost their lives in Afghanistan learned that they'll have to wait a little longer for a memorial to honour their fallen loved ones. The defence department has shelved plans to revamp the National War Memorial to honour Canadians who fought in Afghanistan.
To add salt to the veterans' wounds, the Harper government is planning to shave $226 million off its budget over the next two years despite the fact the number of veterans is actually increasing.
It's not just the government that's turning its back on our soldiers.
Earlier this year there was a kerfuffle when the city of Calgary voted to allow yellow ribbon stickers bearing the words "Support Our Troops" on all city emergency and transit vehicles.
While showing support for a nation's armed forces by decorating one's automobile is common practice in the United States, the mere suggestion of it raised the ire of left-wing pacifists who said the ribbons were an endorsement of the controversial war in Afghanistan.
It's great for Canadians to honour our war veterans on Nov. 11 but let's show our support for them the other 364 days of the year.
Andy Radia is a Coquitlam resident and political columnist who writes for Yahoo! Canada News and Vancouver View Magazine. He has been politically active in the Tri-Cities, having been involved with election campaigns at all three levels of government, including running for Coquitlam city council in 2005.