Why is there a Remembrance Day?
Why, on November 11th every year, do Canadians stop from their daily work commitments and observe this day as a special holiday? Schools close and government, public and private offices all across the nation shut down and “remember” ! Remember what? Canadians will gather on November 11th, all across our nation, at war memorials for a two minute period of silence to pay tribute to and honor the memory of the more than 100,000 Canadians who were killed in War-World war 1 and 2 and the Korean War. Family members and government officials will lay wreaths and flowers in their honor. November 11th was the day on which the fighting stopped in 1918, and this day was chosen by those who returned from the wars when they would stop and remember their fallen comrades: those who made the supreme sacrifice that we may have the freedom in this country that we enjoy today. This year Remembrance Day marks the 81st anniversary of the signing of the armistice to end the first World War, November 11th, 1918. After four years of bloody battles “the war to end all wars” was finally over. Children my age can’t remember the 1st World War so maybe the most important thing for us to remember is that many of the dead weren’t much older than us.
Many of them flew bombers while still in their teens; others were storming beaches at Dieppe, long before their 21st birthdays. Their future was as bright as my plans for next summer. They left the excitement of playing basketball, football, skiing, hockey, track and also their families, friends and school to fight for Canada. On November 11th everybody wears a poppy, a reminder of the blood-red flower which grew in the fields where the fighting occurred in the trenches. Soldiers noticed this red flower as more and more of their friends were killed and saw that these poppies would bloom over their graves. Even though World War 2 was referred to as the “war to end all wars” , unfortunately in our world today, wars are raging, and children, civilians and soldiers die in the streets of Third World Countries. Many children will never know the peace and freedom enjoyed by most Canadians Not often do we take the time to remember who fought the battles that we may have liberty.
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