November is a month that means different things to different people. There is Movember, where activists raise money while growing out “gorgeous” mustaches for prostate cancer research. To some it is the month for Alzheimer’s Awareness, Transgender Awareness, or the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on Nov. 25.
And, of course, Nov. 11 is Remembrance Day, meaning that the one thing November does not represent is the unofficial “I Need to Prep for Christmas” month.
Immediately after Halloween passes, stores fill their aisles with Christmas decorations and sales. As much as they may be tempting, please wait two weeks between your masks and candy before buying snowmen and icicle lights. Instead, pick up a poppy, do some research and participate in the moment of silence, either at home, or at a local ceremony, such as the cenotaph in Fredericton.
Remembrance Day, as stated by the federal department of Veterans Affairs Canada, is for the “remembrance of the men and women who have served, and continue to serve our country during times of war, conflict and peace.”
This is not the time to play your Michael Bublé Christmas album, or start decorating your living room with lights and a Christmas tree.
As proud Canadians, or even those visiting to Canada, take this time to understand why we have Remembrance Day. I don’t mean to just wear a poppy and call it a day. I mean learn what we are remembering and who we are remembering. I would be willing to bet that each Canadian family has someone related throughout their history that has been in one of the World Wars or possibly in one of the ongoing conflicts.
We are the “True North, Strong and Free” because of these brave men and women. Take the two minutes on Nov. 11 to stop what you are doing, remove your hat, and remember. We are proud Canadians and that is thanks to our history, our culture and the sacrifices that were made by fellow Canadians for future Canadians.
Andrew Martel is the Business Manager of the Brunswickan.