I remember when Remembrance Day was not a holiday. Just like Lois Petty, in her letter on page 6.
Like her, I recall that wherever I was at 11 am on Nov. 11, I stopped along with everyone else and observed a moment of silence.
Once I was in a shopping mall with my mother and the infernal “mall muzak” stopped right on the button for a whole minute. Once I was in church and our minister timed his sermons so that we could all observe the silence together. And at least one other time was in school, and my classmates and I all stood and were silent for a moment.
We remembered as a community – in our own small communities – and those who didn’t remember were reminded by our actions, and our parents never let us forget the sacrifice made by their parents and their aunts, uncles and older cousins.
While it’s nice to have a holiday on Nov. 11, what about the people who don’t remember and who have no one to remind them?
Flo Berry and I were observing the other night in the Legion that the numbers of veterans get smaller and smaller every year in our little town – although I do have to point out that we have a fantastic group of people every year at the Remembrance Day services at the cenotaph.
Although the Legion and the local schools hold special assemblies on Nov. 10, those numbers are getting smaller as well as the student population declines.
Every year that comes and goes pushes our history a little further into the past, and every year we lose more of those who were there. Will there come a time when there will be no one left who is even remotely touched by those events?
It’s inevitable. But it doesn’t mean that future generations will forget why we honoured the sacrifices of another generation.
As Mrs. Petty states in her letter, if we can use what we learned from these two great wars to encourage and bring about peace, what better and lasting legacy can there be to the people we gather to honour every Remembrance Day?
Wendy Coomber is editor of the Ashcroft-Cache Creek Journal