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LETTER: Young people need to be taught to value, uphold freedoms they enjoy

'We are currently witnessing a disturbing erosion of the precious freedoms that so many fought and died for' reader says
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GuelphToday received the following letter to the editor from reader Sue Woodward.

Dear Editor

Recently I have been watching the BBC series The Blitz: Britain on Fire. In spite of growing up in England in the post-war years, I knew very little of the details that are chronicled in this series, specifically the devastation occurring in the city of Liverpool, and the incredible suffering and bravery of many of those involved. The reason for my ignorance is that people who lived through the horrors of that war didn’t talk about it, especially to children. It was just too painful.

We are currently witnessing a disturbing erosion of the precious freedoms that so many fought and died for. Two recent examples reported in GuelphToday come to mind. The first is the banning of the Guelph and Area Right to Life bus ads by city council, currently under appeal. Freedoms of expression and religion mean that views, no matter how unpopular, must not be actively suppressed by civil authorities. One such view is the belief that all unborn children should be valued and protected, as well as their mothers.

Secondly, interference with the freedom of the press was exemplified by the action of the coroner in the December fatal traffic accident as reported in a recent article. This action against a reporter should not have been justified by the investigating authority, particularly without interviewing all parties involved. Guelph Today is right to pursue this further.

Young people of my background were kept in ignorance of the horrors of war. Young people today are taught, rightly, about what happened. But they must also be taught to value the freedoms that they enjoy, and which were upheld at such great cost. These freedoms can be lost overnight and are currently at risk. Let us be vigilant, and encourage the next generation to remain so.

Sue Woodward