Bény-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery in Reviers, France. (Lexie Hinde, Ryerson Student)

Bény-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery in Reviers, France, is the final resting place of predominantly  Canadian soldiers who lost their lives in the battle of Normandy. (Lexie Hinde/Ryerson Student.)


Lest we forget.

Just these three simple words hold the power that reminds us of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in honour of our country. We noticed that this week’s copy of The Ryersonian would be published on Remembrance Day and our masthead was quick to begin sharing stories of our memories relating to this solemn occasion.

Most of us recall assemblies held in elementary school gymnasiums. We all grew up observing the minute of silence at 11:00, joining in as the poem In Flanders Fields poem was recited, and quietly listening to stories from visiting veterans who illuminated the gritty impact of wars in ways that history class never could.

But for students who grew up outside of Ontario, Northwest Territories, Quebec and Nova Scotia, their Remembrance Day memories differ. For our reporters who were raised in other provinces and territories  in Canada, November 11th was always a statutory holiday.

People remain divided on whether Remembrance Day should be a federal national holiday.

Those who are against it argue that, if children are off school, there is no guarantee parents will take the time to teach their children about the significance of the day. Others fear that the day off work won’t be used to pay respect to those who died while serving in the armed forces.

Those who weren’t required to go to school on the day remember Nov.11 being treated as a sombre occasion.  Even though students weren’t in class and adults didn’t have to go to work, people usually spent their days participating in the Remembrance Day ceremonies.

Whether or not a nation-­wide holiday occurs, we agree that Nov. 11 should be used as a day to reflect. There’s something to be said when people across the nation come together as one to pay tribute to the thousands of brave Canadian men and women we have lost in service. It’s imperative that our country should take every step to ensure that this continues.

Angela Serednicki is a fourth-year journalism student at Ryerson University.

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