This year marks the first time in ninety-eight years that there has not been a public Remembrance Day ceremony at the local Cenotaph.
It will seem strange to many of us, not to pay our respects to those who fought for our freedoms, be thankful for the generations of Canadian who have now lived without knowing the realities of war, and send our thoughts to those in other parts of the world who are still living under its shadow.
But the lack of a public ceremony does not mean we cannot do those things. We’d like to offer some suggestions:
- Make poppy-shaped thank-you notes and place them on the vehicles you see with veterans’ plates.
- Place posters and messages in your windows, at home or at work, recognising the role that soldiers have played in creating the safe and stable nation we now live in.
- Visit the cenotaph on your own with a wreath, poppy, sign, or some other memento.
- Decorate a small stone with a poppy or other symbol of peace or remembrance, and hide it somewhere for someone else to find (visit Creston Rockz on Facebook for ideas).
- Put a very generous donation in the box for the Remembrance Day poppies – all proceeds from that go exclusively to support veterans and their families, and fundraising this year is going to be especially challenging.
- Explore new perspectives. What can you find out about little-known contributions to Canada’s war effort, such as First Nations Soldiers, Sikh soldiers, African-Canadian soldiers, or those from other minorities? What was it like, living in Canada during war times, for people of German or Japanese descent, for conscientious objectors, for those whose religion forbade them to take up arms?
- Learn more about Creston Valley’s role in the First and Second World Wars:
We have a few more Remembrance Day stories coming to you over the next few days.