Editorial – Take time to remember

Richard Froese

Remembrance Day will be commemorated across Canada on Nov. 11.
It’s a time to remember and honour thousands of men and women who fought for the freedoms and rights that Canadians value and appreciate. They sacrificed their lives and time to make life better for everyone in Canada.
For the second consecutive year, people in Alberta and other parts of Canada will not be able to gather for large in-door services because of COVID-19 restrictions. Under normal circumstances, Legion and community halls, school gymnasiums and other venues are crowded with local residents who take the time to remember those who served, for those who returned home and those who didn’t.
Remembrance Day was first observed in 1919 throughout the British Commonwealth. It was originally called “Armistice Day” to commemorate the armistice agreement that ended the First World War on Monday., Nov. 11, 1918, at 11 a.m. on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.
Now, in 2021, Remembrance Day marks another milestone, the centennial of the poppy.
In July 1921, the Great War Veterans Association, which in 1925 would unify with other Veteran groups to form the Royal Canadian Legion, adopted the poppy as the flower of remembrance. Since then, the Legion and its members have upheld the tradition of remembrance.
In late October, poppy boxes are placed in various businesses, stores, municipal offices and other locations. There, people deposit a donation to the Poppy Fund to support the Veterans and their families.
Pick up a poppy from a box, wear a poppy and donate to the fund to support Veterans.
As the Legion celebrates the centennial of the poppy for Remembrance Day, everyone is encouraged to wear a poppy.
The poppy is mentioned in the popular Remembrance Day poem In Flanders Fields written by Canadian physician Lt.-Col. John McCrae during the First World War. He was inspired to compose it on May 3, 1915, after presiding over the funeral of friend and fellow soldier Lt. Alexis Helmer, who died in the Second Battle of Ypres.
So, the poem starts:

“In Flanders Fields, the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place, and in the sky
The larks still bravely singing, fly.”

As proud and free Canadians, take time to remember, honour and thank those who served to fight for freedoms in Canada.
Wear a poppy and take time to remember those who served in the past to give Canadians what they have today.
Robert Laurence Binyon encourages everyone in his poem For the Fallen.

“At the going down of the sun and in the morning; We will remember them.”

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