By Erin Eaton
More than ever, Canadians planned to actively honour Remembrance Day this year by taking the time to recognize fallen soldiers throughout history.
Polls show that three in 10 Canadians intended to attend a Remembrance Day ceremony, and 80 per cent said they would observe two minutes of silence at 11a.m — numbers up significantly from 2010.
But do the figures collected by Historica-Dominion reign true for students and young people with diminishing connections to Second World War veterans?
Humber News surveyed 50 students from the North campus about their thoughts and concerns regarding Remembrance Day.
Sixty-nine per cent of students surveyed said they recognized Remembrance Day, though only 29 per cent were able to attend a ceremony, or organized event.
Of the students unable to attend a ceremony, 40 per cent said they had to prioritize work, school, or other pressing commitments, though they would have liked to participate.
“I understand the importance of the day, but I have to work,” said 21-year old Jhanish Dahd. “Life doesn’t just come to a stop for these things, though I wish it did.”
That said, 96 per cent of participants said Remembrance Day should be a national statutory holiday; many saying it would increase the day’s significance and allow more people to attend organized ceremonies. Postal services, banks and some other institutions do close for the day.
Two Humber students said making Remembrance Day a statutory holiday would decrease its significance, as most people would likely use the time off to party, go out of town, or sleep in late.
Seventy per cent of students were confident that the significance of Remembrance Day will not diminish with time, despite sinking numbers of Second Word War veterans.
“I think Remembrance Day [should be] becoming more and more meaningful, rather than less,” said second-year student, Anna Ross. “A few generations ago, war held a place in everyone’s lives, whether they wanted it to or not. These days we need to consciously take the time to remember, since it’s not necessarily something we carry with us.”
Check out the survey answers below: