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poppy 11095567_sHello, friends. Today is an important day for all of us who cherish our freedom. In Canada, it’s called Remembrance Day and in the US, it’s called Veterans Day. It’s a day to commemorate those who fought and died for our freedom, and who serve today to defend our way of life.

I wish Remembrance/Veterans Day was a public holiday — a day we get off from work. It could be a day for reflection, for the placing of flowers, for looking at old photos, and updating the family tree. It could be a day for families to share stories of loved ones lost and those far away from home. Why isn’t it a public holiday? In the US, it comes too close to Thanksgiving, another day meant for thoughtful consideration of what we have, including freedom and family. In Canada, there’s little excuse. Thanksgiving in Canada is in October. And the next public holiday is Christmas.

Recently, there was a poll taken by my local TV news station, here in Calgary. They asked, “Should Remembrance Day be a national statutory holiday?” Eighty-five per cent of voters said YES. Perhaps they were influenced by the recent tragic events involving terrorists against Canadian military personnel, or maybe everyone knows someone who has served and wishes to honor them, but whatever the reason, a great many people believe it ought to be a day off.

In Calgary, school kids get the day off…but what if their parents don’t? What kind of message does that give, and how does a child come to full realization of what the holiday stands for without a parent’s guidance?

Many Americans DO get the day off. There is no postal delivery on that day, for example, and many Federal workers are given the holiday off. Why can’t Canada have the same observation? And why can’t ALL Americans have the day off or be paid extra to work the holiday. (My daughter in California gets extra pay for working holidays, which is as it should be since she misses a lot of family events with her schedule.)

We should all think about this and, if you feel strongly about it, lobby your representatives. If you have an opinion on this topic, whether you agree with me or not, leave a comment. Let’s talk about veterans on this day of all days.

Trish

8 Comments

  1. Excellent post, Trish. I’ve always worked Veteran’s Day but I’d certainly like the opportunity to reflect on the men and women, some of my family in fact, who have served and given their lives for our country. A national holiday is a grand idea.

    • Thanks for stopping by to comment, Jenna. There were a lot of really heartfelt ceremonies across Canada, and close by here in Calgary today. The turnout was reported to be “significantly higher” than in years past, despite the extreme cold. I attribute that to heightened Canadian patriotism related to the recent acts of terrorism on Canadian soil. We won’t go down without a fight, Canadian or American.

  2. Great post Trish. We call it Remembrance Day here too. WE don’t have a day off for this one although we do on January 26 for ANZAC day, which is the Australia and New Zealand day to remember all Veterans.

    I found yesterday interesting. My Grandson yesterday had the honour at school of “doing the flag”.He was very honoured and wore his great grandfathers medals. I can’t help but think he learned more about Remembrance Day at school than he would have done at home. Would it become a day of reflection or just another day off? Not really sure.

    Sorry for rambling 🙂

    • You weren’t rambling, Constance. I think you’re giving a slightly different perspective to the picture. It’s great to have the Australian POV. Congratulations to your grandson for having the honor of flag duty. I’ll bet his medals were a hit. 🙂

  3. Some of the US chains are doing nice things today for veterans, although that of course means their employees are working today (Starbucks giving a coffee to vets, etc. etc.). We can never repay our veterans, no matter what we do. I did like Dennis Miller’s thought, that anyone who served in active combat should never again have to pay income taxes. It woudl be a nice “gesture,” I think.

    • I think we’d have a lot more people enlisting if nonpayment of income taxes was a perquisite. I remember the movie Armageddon where the men who’ll be saving the world make nonpayment of income taxes for life a requirement for their services. It’s not a new idea, but an excellent one all the same.

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