Some 29 percent of respondents to an Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of Historica Canada are planning to attend Remembrance Day ceremonies this Saturday—a three percent rise compared to last year.
While that number isn't great, at least it's moving in the right direction. It's also well above the low hit back in 2008, when only 16 percent of respondents to a survey held then indicated plans to attend one.
Better still, this latest online survey revealed so-called “millennials"—Canadians aged 18-34—are the ones most likely to attend. Given fewer and fewer veterans are still with us with each passing year, and "baby-boomers” are growing older, this is the most positive sign as it indicates the importance of observing Remembrance Day is being passed on to the younger generation to uphold.
Historica Canada says this surge in interest may stem from concerted efforts to share veterans' stories in schools and other public places, with CEO Anthony Wilson-Smith noting veterans relaying the horrors of war in person in schools, or sharing their anecdotes in online archives, has helped make an impression on young people.
Here in Rainy River District, local veterans have spoken at, or been on hand for, Remembrance Day ceremonies held in schools while the Fort Frances Lions Club's annual peace poster contest is a wonderful way to instill this crucial message among our youth to ensure it lives on with each new generation.
The importance of pausing at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month each year to solemnly remember our war dead, and never take for granted all the freedoms and values were enjoy today because of their sacrifice, cannot be understated.
Be sure to show your respect and gratitude on Nov. 11 by wearing a poppy and/or attending a cenotaph service, which will be held at 11 a.m. here in Fort Frances, as well as in Devlin (11 a.m.), Emo (11:45 a.m.), Rainy River First Nations (1:30 p.m.), Barwick (2 p.m.), and Stratton (2:30 p.m.)
Just as critical, though, is reinforcing the importance of Remembrance Day in our children and grandchildren.
Lest we forget.