If We Don’t Remember, We Will Forget

“In Flanders fields the poppies grow/Between the crosses, row on row.” ~ from “In Flanders Fields” by John McCrae

For many Canadians, the above poem symbolizes a very important holiday: Remembrance Day. On the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month, we are called to stop and give a moment of silence out of respect for the thousands of soldiers that fought (and are still fighting) for our freedom.

I remember when I was still in grade school, every year we would have a Remembrance Day ceremony to honour our veterans and fallen soldiers. It was always a time when our school would come together to learn about and respect those who have risked their lives for our collective safety and freedom, some ultimately sacrificing themselves for that privilege. Within the days leading up to this year’s Remembrance Day, however, news had broken out that some Albertan schools allow students to opt out of Remembrance Day ceremonies.

I don’t get it… The only reason we live in a free country is because men and women went out and fought for it, so it seems to me that those of us who live in Canada should be able to take a few minutes to say thank you for that. I feel as though many are consumed with this idea that we never have enough time to do anything, which is a load of BS. The only reason it feels like we have so little time is because we try to do too much. Regardless, one can take at least two minutes (my goodness, even an hour is not anything in the long run) to be still and say a small thank you for someone you don’t even know who has basically given you your life. Also, Remembrance Day is not a religious holiday, so until someone explains to me why anyone would have an aversion to showing respect for our fallen soldiers, I will fully believe that we who live in Canada have an obligation to remember. Remembrance Day should be celebrated in all schools and students should attend those celebrations. They’re a part of our history, and they’re a part of our present.

I read an article about Premier Redford’s reaction to Edmonton Public Schools’ policy, and one of the Twitter comments struck a chord with me:

“If you make Remembrance Day ceremonies “optional” for kids, then the whole point of Remembrance Day will be FORGOTTEN. Mandatory. #CTVYEG” ~ Travis Currah via Twitter 

So, fellow Canadians, let’s take a stand and fight for the many soldiers like they fought for us. They deserve to be remembered, by all of us.

Have a great day, one full of thanks for the many blessings we have.

Joyanne 😀



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3 responses to “If We Don’t Remember, We Will Forget

  1. Andrea Newman

    You’re totally right, I think it’s absolute garbage.

  2. Teresa

    Regardless of the reason why some may choose not to attend these ceremonies… isn’t forcing them to attend taking away the very thing those soldiers were fighting for them to have- their freedom?

    Besides, there could be lots of reasons why a person might choose to not attend. For instance, some might oppose having one specific day in an entire year to “remember,” and would prefer if society cultivated an attitute of gratitude on a more regular basis. Some might have a completely different perspective of the wars that went on- for instance, the Japanese Canadians that were stripped of their businesses/possessions and sent to internment camps during the war- maybe the ceremonies bring up painful memories for them about those injustices. Maybe some people just feel that war and killing is always wrong no matter what, and would have preferred more peaceful conflict resolution was found. I think it is wrong to presume to that they’re being ungrateful or lazy or don’t want to show respect. If you don’t understand why a certain individual won’t attend, maybe you should just ask them why? It could reveal new perspectives to you….

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