Lest We Forget
What is Remembrance Day?
Rick Leswick Special to the Enterprise Bulletin The act of remembrance can be observed as a solitary act or as part of a large community event; however some people do not understand the origins or the total significance of is ?What is Remembrance Day?? According to the Royal Canadian Legion?s, Ten Quick Facts on Remembrance Day, the first official recognition of the day occurred on November 11, 1919 at the grounds of Buckingham Palace. King George V presided over the event that was preceded the night before by ?A Banquet in Honour of the President of the French Republic.? At that time it was referred to as ?Armistice Day,? and was in commemoration of the armistice agreement that took place on Monday, November 11, 1918 at 11 am. This is why the event is referred to as ?The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.? Armistice Day was held in Canada, from 1921 to 1930, on the Monday of the week in which November 11 fell. Alan Neil, Member of Parliament for Comox?Alberni introduced a bill in the House of Commons in 1931 to change the name of the day to ?Remembrance Day? and to observe it on November 11th. The bill became law and the first observance was on November 11, 1931. Canadians have traditionally paused for a moment of silent recognition at 11 o?clock on November 11 as their act of personal remembrance and in recognition of more than 1,500,000 Canadians, men and women, from all corners of the country, representing all society who have served in the Canadian branches of the military. Of these service personnel, more than 118,000 have paid the ultimate price to preserve our precious way of life. Immediately prior to the week of remembrance, Canadians display the red poppy on their clothing which are sold by members of the Royal Canadian Legion to provide assistance to veterans. All of the revenues collected are distributed directly to support programs and the Legion does not retain any funds for their administration. The origin of the red poppy as a symbol of remembrance is directly related to a poem, In Flanders Field, specifically the first two lines, ?In Flanders fields the poppies blow, between the crosses, row on row.? The haunting words were penned by Lieutenant-Colonel John McRae immediately after presiding at the funeral of one of his friends who was killed during the Great War. Colonel McRae was himself a casualty of the European conflict and he died of disease in 1915 while serving in France. The protocol of wearing poppies is generally not understood. They are usually not to be worn before November 1st, when the poppy is presented in the House of Commons and are not to be worn after November 11th. One of the acts of remembrance at public ceremonies is for individuals to place their poppies at the base of a cenotaph or other such Courtesy: Collingwood Museum monument. Remembrance Day ceremonies are conducted across the country at locations from the smallest of villages to the event held at the National War Memorial in Ottawa. As the representative of Canada?s Head-of State, Her Majesty, the Queen, the Governor General of Canada presides over the solemn event. Veterans of the military as well as serving members of the Canadian Armed Forces occupy a special position at the memorial. Long columns of Veterans, service personnel, members of the RCMP and cadets parade prior to ceremony. The parade is led by a pipe band and colour guard. Services held in most Commonwealth countries including the playing of the ?Last Post? followed by a Photo: Rick Leswick Photo: Paul Brian period of silence. A lone bugler then sounds ?Reveille?. Wreaths are placed at the cenotaph by various dignitaries representing institutions, governments and individuals. One of the persons laying a wreath is the Silver Cross Mother who is chosen every year by the Royal Canadian Legion. She represents all mothers who have lost children while serving in the Canadian military. The name originates from the Silver Cross which is a medal awarded to these mothers by the Canadian Forces. The ceremony is then concluded as the parade marches away from the cenotaph. Remembrance Day is a national statutory holiday as it is in the three territories and six provinces, (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland.) The day is also observed in many commonwealth countries; however some hold their ceremonies of remembrance on other days. For example, ANZAC day is held in New Zealand on April 25. Many nations that are not member states of the commonwealth, including France, Belgium and Poland also recognize November 11th. The United States commemorates Veterans Day on the 11th as well. Whether a solitary Canadian citizen takes a moment away from work at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month or crowds of people join the observance at the National War Memorial in Ottawa, Remembrance Day is an important time to reflect on the sacrifices made by Canadians, for Canadians. The day has taken on even greater significance this year in light of the disturbing acts of cowardice recently perpetrated by misguided persons against members of the Canadian Armed Forces on our own soil.
Wasaga Beach Remembrance Day Service
Sunday November 9th 2:00pm Cenotaph at the Wasaga Beach Town Hall located at 30 Lewis Street, Wasaga Beach. Parade forms at OPP station and proceeds down Glenwood to the Cenotaph. ?Reception to follow at Wasaga Stars Arena, light refreshments will be provided. For more information please contact Cathy Turrrie, Town of Wasaga Beach Deputy Clerk at 705-429-5481 ext 2224 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Gather to Remember
Tuesday November 11th 10:30am, Doors open at 10:00am. Wasaga Beach Public Library, 120 Glenwood Drive, Wasaga Beach. Remembrance day is observed and will feature speakers, singers and reflections in the main library. CBC Radio ceremony to be played with 2 minutes of silence at 11:00am. Light refreshments to follow in the boardroom. For more information please contact Cathy Turrie at 705-429-5481 or visit the library?s website www.wasagabeach.library.on.ca
We Will Never Forget
Join Us For A Public Reception At
Royal Canadian Legion
Branch 63, Collingwood