This Saturday is Remembrance Day.
There has been and will be so much written about the meaning and importance of the day, and by people much more qualified to write about those topics, that I will explore a few different themes dealing with the idea of Remembrance Day.
Saturday is also a day of recognition in the United States, but for them it is Veterans Day. This is the day when they recognize the current and past members of the armed forces who are still alive. They have a day which recognizes those who fell in time of war and those who served and are no longer with us. That’s the last weekend of May, when they have Memorial Day.
Where things start to get a little jumbled is that junior hockey fans, for the most part in Canada, know there is a championship series called the Memorial Cup, which usually takes place shortly before the U.S. celebrates Memorial Day.
What a lot of people possibly don’t know is what the ‘memorial’ in the Memorial Cup is for. The tournament was first held immediately after the First World War, and was a memorial for those who had dies in that conflict. This is why, to the possible confusion of some, most of the coaches and broadcasters at the Memorial Cup are wearing poppies. They’re not hanging on the ones from Remembrance Day; they’re using them to recognize the Memorial Cup and its origins.
If you want to get a discussion going about Remembrance Day, ask people how long they wear their poppies. I have asked Royal Canadian Legion members in a few different communities I worked at papers in, and gotten different answers.
Some will say you can wear them all year, to show that the memories are constantly with you. Others will say you should take them off immediately after the Remembrance Day ceremony, which is why you see many Legion members place their poppies at the Cenotaph before leaving.
Whatever you decide to do with your poppy, please make a donation and wear one, and observe two minutes of silence at 11 a.m. on Saturday.
Lest we forget, lest we forget.