Remembrance Day Shouldn’t Be Optional

November 11, 2012

I have another guest post for you today. This post was written by a Twitter friend, @RDMortgageNurse, who feels very strongly about the importance of public school students participating in Remembrance Day ceremonies. I agree 100% with what she is saying here. Remembrance Day is an important day, as I wrote about a couple years ago. I hope all of my readers take a moment of silence today to acknowledge our veterans and encourage our youth to do the same.

There was a news report on the television this evening that sparked absolute outrage in my heart tonight. And yes, the resulting reaction sounds strong, but it is a true reflection of what I was experiencing.

On November 6, 2012, just 5 days before the November 11 date that in Canada we celebrate as “Remembrance Day”, a local media station, CTV Edmonton, reported that the Edmonton Public School Board had made a decision to allow any and all children to opt-out of attending or participating in any type of Remembrance Day celebrations at their schools.

I am absolutely disgusted in the Edmonton Public School Division’s decision to allow children to opt-out of Remembrance Day celebrations in their Schools.

Remembrance Day is NOT a Religious holiday or celebration. It is a time to give thanks to the brave Men & Women who made the greatest sacrifices for our freedoms – freedoms including public education.

If you are partaking, experiencing & blessed enough to benefit from our Public School systems in Canada, you can at least be respectful enough to say thank you to the brave Veterans who made it possible for you to do so!

We, as adults, parents, educators, are meant to teach our children these things. We are here because of other their brave sacrifices.ssed enough to benefit from our Public School systems in Canada, you can at least be respectful enough to say thank you to the brave Veterans who made it possible for you to do so!

When I was young, I not only attended Remembrance Day celebrations, I wore a Poppy on my chest, I sang in the choirs, paid respects at the Cenetaphs and shook hands with the Veterans.

Both of my Grandfathers were involved in the Military at young ages. In fact, one of my Grandfathers continued to serve & traveled the World serving the Canadian Military, until he finally retired at the Griesbach Canadian Military base in Edmonton.

Both of my Grandfathers, as well as my Grandmother, were 50+ year Royal Canadian Legion members. My Grandmother was President of the Ladies Auxilliary and her picture still remains on the wall of the Legion that my family belongs to for us to look at with pride. All of my Grandparents were respected with full traditional Legion funerals.

In the final verse of the ever-popular, and so deeply endeared poem “In Flanders Fields”, written by John McCrae in 1915, he encourages us to keep up the fight for peace, because as these soldiers died they handed us the power for Peace & Freedoms to hold high and partake in, for they sacrificed so that we good live.

No matter what your race, or what your religion, background or beliefs are, if you are living or staying here in Canada, you are a Canadian. And therefore, you and all of your family, with all of your backgrounds and beliefs are free in this Country because of the sacrifices of the Canadian soldiers who fought both on this land and abroad so that we, with all of our different religions and beliefs, could be free! Please, please do these amazing, brave and selfless soldiers the humble honor of standing up and saying thank you.


In Flanders Fields, John McCrae – 1915

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.”

– Larissa Lysons, 2012

Since writing this article, Larissa was interviewed by CTV Edmonton. You can read the article here and watch the segment here.

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    November 11, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    I couldn’t agree with you more. Growing up in Ontario (where I didn’t get a day off of school for remembrance day, but rather spent the day in a school remembrance day ceremony every year) Remembrance day really was a tribute to those brave Canadians who made sacrifices for our country and continue to do so. This is something that should be asked of all Canadians, and I can’t find the grounds to opt out (even those people who are anti-war/pacifists were encouraged to ware a white poppy)

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