… is Memorial Day in the United States when our friends in that great republic honour their war dead …
… we, Canadians, should join in expressing our eternal gratitude for the Americans who fell at our side in wars great and small.
In November, when we honour our war dead, our neighbours pay tribute to their veterans:
I believe that we should learn from our neighbours.
We should make November 11th, our Remembrance Day, ALL about our war dead … only about our war dead. That was how it was conceived, on 11 November 1919. That was what the Royal Canadian Legion had in mind, but, not surprisingly, given that the Legion is a veterans’ organization their focus has shifted, year-by-year, away from honouring the war dead and more towards honouring the service of veterans … like me. I think they are mixing apples and oranges.
I assert that Canada needs two holidays:
- Remembrance Day, on 11 November in which we honour our war dead ~ what the Americans do on Memorial Day; and
- A national Veterans’ Day in May – maybe even to coincide with the US Memorial Day.
Veterans’ Day should be the Legion’s primary focus each year. Remembrance Day should be a solemn thing, death doesn’t need parades, run by each local reeve or mayor, assisted, a bit, by nearby military units.
But that’s an aside. Today we honour the hundreds of thousands of Americans who died fighting for a better, freer world. The fight is not over and, sadly, more Americans and more Canadians will have to die before everyone is free.