EDITORIAL: Will Canada remember them?

The need to reinforce meaning behind Remembrance Day becomes more acute as the years go by

On Monday when people honour our fallen soldiers of wars long past and those serving in uniform now, Canadians will need to start thinking about the future of Remembrance Day and how it will remain connected to new generations.

Memories and stories of the First World War now entirely reside in photos, films and text. Those with living memories of D-Day or hunting U-boats on the Atlantic or fighting on the Korean Peninsula become fewer every year.

There will be a future not far off when students in Victoria won’t be able to hear first hand from veterans of the Second World War and the Korean War why they fought for the freedoms of others.

More recently, Canadians fought and died in the mountains and badlands of Afghanistan, trying nobly, but perhaps futilely, to bring peace and security to a nation with more entrenched problems than can be solved by military action.

Although that conflict certainly won’t be far from the memories of the veterans and families of that conflict, Afghanistan is also fading as a significant era for many Canadians.

Understanding our past and linking it in meaningful ways to the messages and meaning of Remembrance Day remains a challenge for our society. It will require parents and grandparents to teach their kids their family stories and personal connections with past conflicts to drive home what sacrifice really means.

Canada, to varying degrees, is ambivalent about its military and wartime history. Remembrance Day isn’t a statutory holiday in Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba and Nova Scotia. Our southern neighbour offers two official days of the year to celebrate its veterans and to remember past conflicts.

The frontline face of Remembrance Day in Victoria are dedicated Legion volunteers, a group also aging and with few new people willing to take up the cause.

For Remembrance Day to survive, the values of sacrifice, service and courage of the past need to be rekindled for the future.

Just Posted

VicPD seeks person of interest after short-term rental ransacked

Combined losses for damage and theft are over $5,000

Whitecaps favourite switches to the Island

Marcel de Jong worked to end Whitecaps contract, joining Pacific FC on the ground floor

RCMP ask for public’s help to determine cause of weekend fire

RCMP are investigating the cause of the South Island Concrete fire

UVic’s cutting-edge centre leading the way in drones and AI

Centre For Aerospace Research works with partners including Department of National Defence

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

VIDEO: 8 things you need to know about the 2019 B.C. budget

Surplus of $247 million with spending on children, affordability and infrastructure

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of Feb. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

‘Bullet missed me by an inch’: Man recounts friend’s killing at Kamloops hotel

Penticton man witnessed Summerland resident Rex Gill’s murder in Kamloops

B.C. BUDGET: Income assistance raise still leaves many below poverty line

$50 per month increase included in funding for poverty and homelessness reduction

B.C. BUDGET: Indigenous communities promised billions from gambling

Extended family caregiver pay up 75 per cent to keep kids with relatives

B.C. BUDGET: New benefit increases family tax credits up to 96 per cent

BC Child Opportunity Benefit part of province’s efforts to reduce child poverty

B.C. BUDGET: Carbon tax boosts low-income credits, electric vehicle subsidies

Homeowners can get up to $14,000 for heating, insulation upgrades

B.C. man survives heart attack thanks to Facebook

A Princeton man suffered a heart attack while at an isolated property with no cell service

B.C. man sues Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party over trademark

Satinder Dhillon filed application for trademark same day Maxime Bernier announced the new party

Most Read