Nov. 5, 2020
Remembrance Day always brings to mind the stories I heard growing up about what it was like to live in Canada during the Second World War.
My father wasn’t old enough to go to war, but he and everyone else did their part to support the war effort here at home. He would go around in the back of a pickup truck collecting scraps of metal like tin cans and tubes of toothpaste, which were made of metal back then. People planted Victory gardens to help prevent food shortages.
Canadians felt it was their duty to support their country at its time of need, whether they were home or fighting overseas.
There have been some parallels made to what we’re facing today. We all laughed at the meme that came out in the spring about our grandparents being asked to risk their lives for their country, while all we’re being asked to do is to sit on the couch.
I’m not downplaying the fact that many people are really struggling right now in terms of their mental health, physical health, finances and many other impacts from the pandemic. It’s not fair, and the hardship is not evenly distributed.
As Nov. 11 approaches, it is perhaps time to reflect on what we can learn from those who fought against enormous dangers to protect our way of life. We should remember not only the battles the veterans faced, but the hardships that every Canadian endured as they contributed to their country’s victory.
Because in many ways we’re in a battle against this virus. It’s a faceless enemy but a very real one, and it’s a fight we won’t win unless we work together.
This year marks the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. The liberation and freedom our veterans fought and died for cannot be forgotten. Although we won’t be able to come together and recognize Remembrance Day as we usually do, I encourage you to find other ways to show your respect.
At the City, we acknowledge the sacrifices of our veterans year-round with the designation of Veterans Way at Blue Mountain Park, with honour rolls at the cenotaph and City Hall, and with free parking at City metres and lots, among other ways.
For Remembrance Day this year, we’ll set the flags at City Hall and Blue Mountain Park at half mast and are providing the community with a variety of safe alternatives to our typical public ceremony.
You can sponsor a free meal for a veteran, for example, or visit the display at Blue Mountain Park in the days leading up to Nov. 11. You can also contribute to the enormous work of the Royal Canadian Legion in supporting seniors in our community. Buy a poppy or become a member, like I did. Join Legion members across the city by standing on your front porch on Nov. 11 at 11 a.m. to observe two minutes of silence. Visit coquitlam.ca/remembers for more ideas.
Our struggle against the coronavirus will continue for many months ahead. Let’s follow the example set by those who came before us. Let’s continue to adapt and do our part, let’s call on our inner strength, and above all, let’s continue to be kind and care about each other.