Nine decades of remembering
In Canada, the first Remembrance Day ceremony took place at 11.00 a.m. on November 11, 1919. This means that we have been remembering our war heroes for nine decades now and the ceremonies are still very relevant.
Originally, the objective of Remembrance Day was to pay homage to all those who gave their lives in the Great War. Today, this special day commemorates all members of the Canadian military who have perished on land or at sea during past or current wars.
For 90 years, ceremonies across the country have been occasions to express our collective memories, compassion and respect for the missing and the dead. We wear poppies and observe two minutes of silence. Every second passed in silence should also be devoted to thinking of the courageous nurses who cared for the wounded during two world wars, to farm workers and office workers who contributed to the war effort as well as to the wives and mothers who received the terrible news of the disappearance of a brother, son or husband.
For those of us born in peace time, the terrible damage wrought by war is never very real. But on November 11, we have every occasion to remember the efforts made by Canadians, both men and women, who are stationed in places such as Afghanistan. Indeed, since the terrible events of September 11, 200l many Canadians have died in conflict zones. And finally, Remembrance Day is also the time to take a moment of silence and vow to make the same sacrifices as these heroic Canadians, if our peace should be threatened.
Canadians have observed Remembrance Day for nine decades now. (Reproduced with the permission of Veterans Affairs Canada)