Remembrance Day

remembrance day ceremony

Plot eight, row E, grave seven: the plot in a French cemetery that was the former resting place of an unknown soldier who died during the First World War.

Like many Canadians who served, died and fought in WW1 in France, we will never know this soldier’s identity — whether he left behind a widow, a child, a mother, a father. Hopes and dreams. A profession. We don’t even know his name.

“Recruits are often told ‘welcome to the family’ when they join. This is my first Remembrance Day as a member of the CAF, and so this year, I also feel like Remembrance Day is about appreciating that family,” said Robert Parsons, a reservist in the Canadian Armed Forces and a U of O student.

No: a day off isn’t the same as real action There’s been a lot of talk around the upcoming 150th anniversary of Confederation in two years. However, this year marks several dates of global significances—the 100th anniversary of numerous First World War battles, such as the battle of Ypres. Each Nov. 11, we remember these …

In an effort to reinforce our patriotism, and temporarily make our way back onto Canadian soil, a friend and I decided to purchase tickets from Paris to Arras, a city just eight kilometres east of the memorial. We arrived at Arras station at around 4 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 8 and waited for a taxi to arrive to take us to the memorial. Alas, hours later and after many calls, no taxi came.

But Nov. 11 isn’t, and never has been, about celebrating or glorifying war. The day is for remembering Canadian soldiers who sacrificed their lives and died in battle; many of whom were no older than most of our student population.