Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day commemorates the sacrifices of people in all armed conflicts.

The Poppy in Flanders Field
Remembrance Day commemorates the sacrifices that Canadians made in armed conflicts, including World Wars I and II.
©iStockphoto.com/James Warren

 

How it all Began

Remembrance Day marks the anniversary of the official end of the World War I hostilities on November 11, 1918. World War I was a massive conflict played out over the whole globe, but particularly in Europe, where troops from Canada supported the Allied forces.

"In Flanders Field the poppies blow..."
“In Flanders Field the poppies blow…”

World War I resulted in the loss of huge numbers of lives amongst civilians and military personnel. Many more people were badly injured. The war left great emotional scars in the servicemen, who had experienced it, and in the communities, whose sons, brothers, fathers, uncles and even grandfathers had died. Remembrance Day commemorates those who died in armed conflicts, particularly in and since World War I.

In Canada, November 11 is officially called Remembrance Day, but it is also known as Armistice Day and Poppy Day. Remembrance Day is commemorated in many countries, particularly members of the Commonwealth, including Australia and New Zealand (where it is also referred to as Armistice Day). In the United States, Veterans Day falls on the same date. In the United Kingdom, the Sunday closest to November 11 is known as Remembrance Sunday. (Source of text: http://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/canada/remembrance-day)

Why I Remember

In 2014 it seems many of us now living in Canada boohoo the need to remember those who chose to fight in Europe. I am not really sure why. The freedoms we have in our nation are very much associated with the pain, suffering and loss of life of many of our Canadian forefathers and mothers. Today many of my generation (the baby boomers) and the new generations since have come to take for granted the many things we enjoy. We have become complacent and reckless regarding our past. There are a multitude of reasons why this might be but I will leave that for you to consider; I’m not going to get into such discussion.

There are circumstances and situations occurring in Canada, politically, economically, socially which sometimes cause me to question the validity of freedom in Canada. Nevertheless, I believe I have a responsibility to remember and be thankful for what I enjoy in Canada myself and the great respect and regard other nations have toward Canada. We live in a blessed nation! I can travel freely anywhere in Canada without fear of reprisal, inspection, or incarceration. I recently boarded a flight to Victoria, BC from Moncton, NB and flew within hours to my destination with nothing more than cursory questions. How great is that do you think? There are many places in the world where as much as crossing the street could have severe consequences.

I am so thankful for the country Canada wherein I was born, raised, worked, and retired. I live in a blessed, magnificent, marvelous Land. We are the Land of the Free.

This is why I remember.

Bruce Finley

 

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