Royal Canadian Legion and Remembrance Day

This week's editorial honours Remembrance Day in Canada.

As we mark another Remembrance Day, commemorative events will be taking place or will have taken place throughout the country to once again think of those who fought for the country, including those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Special days like Nov. 11 and events that surround anniversaries of such milestones are important elements in keeping a nation’s ties to its history alive, and in so doing, maintaining and strengthening the national identity of a country.

And an overwhelming majority of the nations celebrate such important milestones like independence days or major military victories with shows of lots of military pride, display of military hardware parading alongside rows and rows of soldiers on major squares or wide avenues.

Thankfully in Canada, we mark the Remembrance Day without any such military fanfare. Yes, we do have parades, mostly organized and led by members of Royal Canadian Legion, but they are solemn, peaceful and silent parades mostly to our cenotaphs at the town centres without the arrogant show of military might.

In taking note of our congenial differences from other nations in marking one of Canada’s most important historical anniversaries, we should also pay tribute to Royal Canadian Legion for not only keeping alive the memory of those who have made great sacrifices for their country, but also for doing what they are doing in such a way that they can remain a beating heart in communities throughout the country rather than being called on to get activated only for a few days every year.

From small towns to big cities, but particularly in small towns, Legion branches are generally active throughout the year, helping raise funds for community causes, sponsoring successful students or young athletes, hosting social and community events, engaging youth through artistic competitions and most importantly, helping keep the community spirit alive.

The recent hoisting of 128 Canadian flags along Highway 2, making Ponoka proud for being one of only five communities throughout the nation remembering the befallen, is only one example of how Legion can and does make an impact in our lives and on how we feel.

But the Legion’s mandate goes far beyond pumping our feelings of pride.

With the work it undertakes in promoting the rights of the veterans who have fought in the recent conflicts and campaigning on behalf of them for improved social and economic conditions, the Legion is also trying to ensure that serving in the Canadian armed forces is not to be shunned by the younger generation.

Albert Einstein was quoted as saying “We must be prepared to make heroic sacrifices for the cause of peace that we make ungrudgingly for the cause of war. There is no task that is more important or closer to my heart.”

Making such sacrifices in peace time means relentless efforts on several fronts: Reminding the younger generations of what happened in the history and how; trying to make sure that history is not repeated but learnt from; and at the same time maintaining a peaceful approach to global affairs without totally dropping one’s guard against potential risks.

Of those tasks, it is fair to say that Royal Canadian Legion is doing a great job achieving the first two, by keeping themselves vibrant in the communities and engaging the youth on a number of platforms.

The only problem is that even the successful Legion has been finding it more and more difficult to attract new blood to its ranks. This is probably because of changing times with more and more young people taking on more responsibilities at younger ages as compared to only a decade ago.

But having survived through many other difficulties, the Legion is certain to adjust to challenges of the day and keep serving the communities and the cause of peace.


Just Posted

(Advocate file photo)
Red Deer down to 102 active COVID-19 cases

Central zone has 332 cases with 26 in hospital and five in ICU

Flora Northwest was taken to the Ermineskin residential school when she was six years old. (Emily Jaycox/Ponoka News)
Ermineskin residential school survivor: ‘It just brings me back to the cries at night’

Discovery in Kamloops of remains of 215 children a painful time for survivors

Maskwacis Pride crosswalk (Left to right): Montana First Nation Councillor Reggie Rabbit, Samson Cree Nation Councillor Louise Omeasoo, Samson Cree Nation Councillor Katherine Swampy, Samson Cree Nation Councillor Shannon Buffalo, Samson Cree Nation Chief Vern Saddleback.
Pride in Maskwacis

The 4th inaugural Maskwacis Pride crosswalk painting took place on Saturday 12, 2020.

The Government of Alberta identified 115 new COVID-19 cases Sunday, bringing the provincial total to 3,089.
(Black Press file photo)
Red Deer COVID cases continue to fall

114 cases in Red Deer, down one from Saturday

Lorne Fundytus. (Emily Jaycox/Ponoka News)
OUR COMMUNITY: Rimoka Housing Foundation has a new CAO

Rimoka Housing Foundation (RHF) has a new, yet familiar, face to fill… Continue reading

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

A worker, at left, tends to a customer at a cosmetics shop amid the COVID-19 pandemic Thursday, May 20, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Half of cosmetics sold in Canada, U.S. contain toxic chemicals: study

Researchers found that 56% of foundations and eye products contain high levels of fluorine

(Photo submitted)
RV fire in Riverside, Ponoka quickly extinguished

A fire that set a motor home in Riverside ablaze from an… Continue reading

Annamie Paul, leader of the Green Party of Canada, speaks at a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, on June 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Green Leader Annamie Paul facing no-confidence motion from party brass

move follows months of internal strife and the defection of MP Jenica Atwin to the Liberals

Tulips bloom in front of the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa, Thursday, May 10, 2018. Day two of a full week of scheduled hearings will be heard in Federal Court today on a case involving Indigenous children unnecessarily taken into foster care by what all parties call Canada’s “broken child welfare system.” THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
AFN slams Ottawa for ‘heartless’ legal challenge of First Nations child compensation

2019 decision awarded $40,000 to each Indigenous child removed before 2006

A health-care worker holds up a sign signalling she needs more COVID-19 vaccines at the ‘hockey hub’ mass vaccination facility at the CAA Centre during the COVID-19 pandemic in Brampton, Ont., on Friday, June 4, 2021. This NHL-sized hockey rink is one of CanadaÕs largest vaccination centres. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
‘Vaxxed to the max’: Feds launch Ask an Expert campaign to encourage COVID shots

Survey shows that confidence in vaccines has risen this spring

Children’s shoes and flowers are shown after being placed outside the Ontario legislature in Toronto on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Ontario commits $10 million to investigate burial sites at residential schools

Truth and Reconciliation Commission identified 12 locations of unmarked burial sites in Ontario

Two hundred and fifteen lights are placed on the lawn outside the Residential School in Kamloops, B.C., Saturday, June, 13, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former Kamloops Indian Residential School earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Days after Kamloops remains discovery, Tk’emlups families gather to unite, move ahead

‘We have to work together because this is going to be setting a precedent for the rest of the country’

Most Read