Bill Groeneveld of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 293 places a poppy on the grave of Armand Fournier to mark Remembrance Day. Each year, Groeneveld and Roy Buchanan place poppies on all of the crosses in the Field in of Honour. (SONJA DRINKWATER / SPECIAL TO THE NEWS)

Bill Groeneveld of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 293 places a poppy on the grave of Armand Fournier to mark Remembrance Day. Each year, Groeneveld and Roy Buchanan place poppies on all of the crosses in the Field in of Honour. (SONJA DRINKWATER / SPECIAL TO THE NEWS)

EDITORIAL: A reminder of what veterans fought for

As Remembrance Day approaches, a reminder of what they fought for

Canadians are pretty good about observing Remembrance Day.

Last year, in a Historica Canada poll, 41 per cent said they would be attending a service. Almost 90 per cent said they thought it was important to honour veterans.

We wear the poppy, we visit the cenotaphs, we lay wreaths.

It’s a shame we don’t take it more to heart what it means.

LAST WEEK: Which is it?

Although we honour all of our service people, past and current, on Nov. 11, at this point, with the last Canadian First World War veteran having died more than decade ago, we are primarily celebrating the accomplishments of our Second World War veterans.

Academics may argue vehemently sometimes that the real impetus of the Second World War was a contest of competing imperialist interests, but for the average person, from the West at least, who fought in Europe 75 to 81 years ago, and for Canadians today, it was an ideological struggle between freedom and tyranny.

MORE EDITORIAL: Look for the bright side

To break it down even more simply, it was a fight for democracy.

Last month British Columbians elected a new government. We accomplished this with barely half of registered voters.

Even if you factor in COVID-19, that is abysmal and emblematic of a decades-long trend. From 1928 to 1979, voter turnout hovered around the 70 per cent mark. It spiked to almost 80 per cent in 1983, but has been in steady decline ever since.

It’s even worse when you consider not every person who is eligible to vote is registered.

We don’t want to try to speak for veterans, obviously, but it seems like one of the best ways we could honour them is to not take for granted that which they sacrificed so much for.

And if you don’t think it’s important to that generation, just look up the voter turnout by age group statistics.

Yes, you could make the argument that freedom includes the freedom to choose not to vote, but we think that’s a cop out.

Of course, it’s pretty easy to be cynical about politics, but it is certainly not going to change by staying home from the polls.

— Black Press

Remembrance Day

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

Just Posted

Victoria artisan Tina Neurauter, right, used to shop at Pot Luck Ceramics with her daughter from Port Alberni. Now Neurauter is selling her handmade soaps and bath products at Bibi J’s, a new enterprise in the former Pot Luck Ceramics building on Gertrude Street in Port Alberni. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Former Pot Luck Ceramics location reimagined as Bibi J’s

Owner Helma Swinkels revives social enterprise with new name, vision

The Rollin Art Centre’s Mistletoe Market begins on Dec. 1. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
ARTS AROUND: Rollin Art Centre prepares for Mistletoe Market

Artisans and crafters are still needed for annual Christmas craft fair

‘Homelessness’ means many things to people with no permanent place to sleep. For some, the challenge to find safe shelter is greater than for others. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Port Alberni mother battles to find housing for her son

Mary Elles fears her son will die on the street before he will find safe housing

Andy Richards of Dog Mountain Brewing demonstrates their new canning machine. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
BIZ BEAT: Local businesses need support during holidays

Bosley’s helping pets out during holiday season

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest day of pandemic with 13 deaths, 738 new COVID-19 cases

Number of people in hospital is nearing 300, while total cases near 30,000

(File photo)
Alberta woman charged after allegedly hitting boy with watermelon at Okanagan campsite

Police say a disagreement among friends at an Adams Lake campsite turned ugly

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Court of Appeal for British Columbia in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. woman loses appeal to have second child by using late husband’s sperm

Assisted Human Reproduction Act prohibits the removal of human reproductive material from a donor without consent

Krista Macinnis displays the homework assignment that her Grade 6 daughter received on Tuesday. (Submitted photo)
B.C. mom angry that students asked to list positive stories about residential schools

Daughter’s Grade 6 class asked to write down 5 positive stories or facts

B.C. projects targeting the restoration of sockeye salmon stocks in the Fraser and Columbia Watersheds will share in $10.9 million of federal funding to protect species at risk. (Kenny Regan photo)
13 projects protecting B.C. aquatic species at risk receive $11 million in federal funding

Salmon and marine mammals expected to benefit from ecosystem-based approach

Picture of two swans leaving the Cowichan estuary moments before one was shot out of the sky. (Submitted photo)
Petition to stop hunting in Cowichan estuary after swan shot

Hunters blame shooting on illegal poachers

Most Read