FILE – Remembrance Day parade makes its way to the Dallas Square cenotaph downtown in Nanaimo.

heritage minute

More Canadians plan to attend Remembrance Day ceremonies this year: poll

But it’s not just about thanking veterans, the poll suggests; it’s also about learning from them.

A new survey suggests more Canadians are planning to mark Remembrance Day this year, perhaps in a salute to the few remaining veterans of the Second World War.

The poll commissioned by Historica Canada, the organization behind the popular Heritage Minute videos, suggests the percentage of Canadians who plan to attend Remembrance Day ceremonies has climbed to 41 per cent, a boost of two per cent over last year and 14 per cent over 2016.

The online survey, conducted by Ipsos, also indicates 88 per cent of Canadians feel it’s important to attend such events while veterans of the Second World War can still be present.

“We’re aware now that even the youngest of those who served in World War II — 75, 76 years ago — are now in their mid-90s. The number of those who served, who used to be so common in every community, is really diminishing,” said Historica CEO Anthony Wilson-Smith.

ALSO READ: 36 memorial trees for fallen soldiers ‘hiding in plain sight’ around Langley

“The day is coming soon when they won’t be with us, and I think Canadians collectively feel that this is our time to say thank you.”

But it’s not just about thanking veterans, the poll suggests; it’s also about learning from them. The vast majority of survey respondents — 94 per cent — agreed that hearing veterans speak about their experiences is the best way for young people to understand conflict, and 80 per cent said they had heard a veteran tell their story.

That personal element can be very powerful, Wilson-Smith said.

“If you’re, for example, in your 20s or 30s, you do have that feeling of ‘there but for the grace of timing go I,’” he said. “In other words, if I’d been this age 10 or 15 years ago (for the Afghanistan War) or if I’d have been that age 75 years ago for World War II or even World War I, that could have been me out there.”

Ipsos conducted the online poll between Oct. 21 and 24, surveying 1,000 Canadians. The polling industry’s professional body, the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, says online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error because they do not randomly sample the population.

Nicole Thompson, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Revenue Canada, RCMP don’t accept Bitcoin: police

RCMP issue Bitcoin warning posters

Mat program not quite ready to open its doors

Committee hopes to bring people out from the cold with overnight shelter program

Ponoka County writes off quarter of a million in taxes

Bankrupt energy companies hitting county financially

Canada to bolster screening of central China passengers for virus at 3 airports

Additional measures will include messaging on arrivals screens in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver

Rebels fight back from 3-1 Raider lead to win 4-3 in shootout

Two goals by Zak Smith key to Rebels comeback

PHOTOS: Eastern Newfoundland reeling, search underway for missing man after blizzard

More than 70 centimetres of new snow fell overnight, creating whiteout conditions

Prince Harry, Meghan to give up ‘royal highness’ titles

‘Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family,’ says Queen Elizabeth II

RCMP Major Crimes Unit lays charges in Stettler death

Nicholas Climb Johnson, 32, of Stettler is charged with second degree murder in the death of his father

‘Manny’s Motel’ badly damaged by fire Jan. 15

Police say 40 Ave. closed due to fire, use alternate route

Metis nations ask Ottawa to negotiate directly with them, not national body

Three provincial Metis nations will work through the national council until after the federal government releases its 2020 budget

Canada to give $25,000 to families of each Canadian who died in Iran plane crash

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also made it clear that Canada still expects Iran to compensate victims

Oil and gas industry applauds top court’s dismissal of B.C.’s Trans Mountain case

The high court’s ruling Thursday removes one of the remaining obstacles for the project

Most Read