Marking the end of World War One, Remembrance Day takes place next week on, of course, November 11, and gives us all an opportunity to remember the great many fallen in both World Wars and other conflicts.
In Canada, Remembrance Day is a public holiday and federal statutory holiday, as well as a statutory holiday in all three territories and in six of the ten provinces.
More than 2,300,000 Canadians have served our country and more than 118,000 made the ultimate sacrifice. On Remembrance Day, Canadians pause to honour all of the men and women who have served and continue to serve Canada during times of war, conflict, and peace.
Here at Stiltz Home Elevators of Canada, here are some ways in which you could ‘remember’ this year:
Wear your poppy with pride
Traditionally worn from the last Friday in October to the end of the day on November 11th, the poppy was first adopted in Canada in 1921 and stands internationally as a ‘symbol of collective reminiscence’ in many places like the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.
Show your gratitude by picking up a poppy from the Canadian Legion and pin it on your lapel. If your family members may not remember, pick some up for them too. You could even make a poppy for your home and pin this up on your porch to show your appreciation.
This year, there is an effort to raise awareness with younger Canadians via a live video streaming platform ‘Twitch’, which will call for an online moment of silence on Remembrance Day. Twitch is a platform geared towards gamers and the initiative is part of the Legion’s Digital Poppy campaign, first introduced last year. It allows Canadians to make an online donation to the legion’s Poppy Fund, dedicate a poppy to anyone who has served, and then share it on social media. So more Canadians than ever, of all ages, will be encouraged to reflect.
Prominent Canadians across all generations and from many fields will also share their Digital Poppy, including figure skater Kurt Browning, the campaign’s lead ambassador, as well as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, author Margaret Atwood, singer Justin Bieber, and actress Sandra Oh.
Take time out with (or in honour of) a veteran
If you know someone who has served our country, take time out to offer them a personal thank you. If they are an older person they might appreciate a visit, even some baked goods would be appreciated. With Remembrance Day meaning a holiday in many regions, you could host a get together for friends and family to spend time in each other’s company, enjoying the freedom that we all have thanks to so many fallen soldiers.
Attend a parade
Many areas will be organising parades of veterans. Often these are supported by schoolchildren and other community groups or marching bands. If you are able to attend one, these can be most worthwhile to witness and a good opportunity to pass a thank you to a veteran. If you are not able to visit a parade yourself, be sure to watch a televised service for Remembrance Day.
Mark Remembrance Day with your Grandchildren
If your grandchildren are older than around eight, they will be old enough to understand the day itself and may be participating in school or community events themselves to demonstrate their gratitude to veterans. Find out what they are doing and share your knowledge of Remembrance Days from your younger years too. You could even read a story with them that relates to wartime.
Did you know? The last Canadian killed in action in World War I was Private George Lawrence Price of the Canadian Infantry (2nd Canadian Division) who was killed at Mons at 10.58 on November 11th, two minutes before the armistice. Officially, Mr Price was the last Commonwealth soldier to be killed in World War One. Share this fact with your grandchildren, or maybe research him online together.
Of course, observe the two minutes silence and reflect on the very many Canadians that paid the ultimate price for our wonderful country.