Remembrance Day 2014

rememberAs each year passes, it seems like we take more notice of our veterans and have more gratitude for those men and women who served in our wars of yesteryear and today.  As you remember, please continue to remember our veterans locally.  Your support of the Legion helps to off-set costs of medical equipment, home services and long-term care for ex-service men and women in our community, and assist them with Niagara Hospice and retirement homes.  Remembering always …not just November 11th.

The Poppy

Remembrance Day is symbolized by the artificial poppies that people wear and place at war memorials. The poppies may be worn or placed singly or as wreaths. The use of the poppy as a symbol of remembrance comes poppyfrom a poem written by John McCrae, a Canadian doctor serving in the military. The poem is called “In Flanders Fields” and describes the poppies growing in the Flemish graveyards where soldiers were buried.

Poppies grow well in soil that has been disturbed. They also grew in large numbers on battle fields. The red color of their petals reminded people of the blood lost by victims of and casualties in the conflict.

Other symbols of Remembrance Day are the war memorials, which are often near the geographical center of communities. These commemorate members of the community, who have died in military action. A particularly well-known memorial is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Ottawa, Ontario. The military parades held on November 11 are also symbolic of Remembrance Day.

If you would like to gain more insight into what Remembrance Day in Canada means, check out Veteran Affairs Canada  which will provide you with information on why we should remember, who and what we should remember, and how we should remember.

Remembrance Day – A National Holiday?

soldiersOur NDP Party is in the works of amending Bill C-597, which would amend the Holidays Act to make Remembrance Day a statutory day off like Christmas or Canada Day.  It passed a second reading in the House of Commons this past Wednesday by a margin of 258 to 2.

However, it would be up to the individual provinces where Nov. 11 is currently not a holiday — Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and Manitoba, representing slightly more than half the country’s working population — to change their individual labour codes.  Harris said he’s confident the measure will become law, particularly in light of the recent deaths of two Canadian soldiers — tragic attacks that remain fresh in the minds of Canada’s federal parliamentarians.

Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent was killed Oct. 20 in Quebec when he was hit by a car driven by a man with jihadist sympathies. Two days later, Cpl. Nathan Cirillo was gunned down while standing guard at the National War Memorial.

The lingering memory of the attacks is expected to spill over into a collective show of mourning during Remembrance Day services across the country on Tuesday.

It is predicted that making Remembrance Day a national statutory holiday will result in more people attending remembrance services.  If the bill passes before the next election, scheduled for next October 2015, the bill will be in force for November 11, 2015.

(taken from the Globe and Mail, November 2015)

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