I have been hearing for years now that many Canadians don’t think of our younger soldiers when asked about Veterans. It seems many believe our veterans are dying off and before long they will all be gone.
It is a sad fact that our veterans from WWI have all passed away and the numbers of WWII and Korean veterans is diminishing at an alarming rate.
However, every year we send young men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces off to faraway lands to defend against oppression and tyranny and they volunteer to do this. But when they get home, most of us don’t see them as veterans. This is incredibly sad.
In my mind there are two types of veterans, a service veteran (one that stays home defending our boarders) and a combat veteran (one that leave home and defends our flag in other countries) both of whom put their life at risk to protect our freedom and that of all free people.
I further believe I may know the reason for our generalized misunderstanding of what a veteran is. As we all know, we Canadians are heavily influenced by our good friends south of the boarder the American’s. We tend to know more about their politics and beliefs then we do of our own. I think we may very well be influenced at least in part; by the way they recognizing and remember veterans.
They celebrate two days in the USA. Veterans Day and Memorial Day. On Veterans Day (observed on Nov 11th our Remembrance Day) they celebrate all that serviced in any branch of the U.S. military and recognize them as veterans. Then on Memorial Day they remember the men and women who died while serving their country.
So if I’m even partly correct. There is a solution and a right way of educating ourselves about veterans. That would be to introduce our own “Veterans Day” a day to remember all Canadians that ever wore the uniform. (While maintaining Remembrance on Nov 11th to honour those that paid the ultimate price for freedom). AND!!! It should be on a weekend like the second Saturday of a month so not to confuse it with a holiday or day off from work. It would be a day for those of us that want to truly honour and respect our fallen by attending a memorial service dedicated to all.