by Kathy Sabo November 15, 2022
I have been struggling to find a topic that I can dig deep about. Something that is meaningful to me and adds some value to you. I finally had my brainwave, an idea I can sink my teeth into. On this blog, periodically, I will share info on a family tradition that is happening in that month. I will also find a holiday I don’t celebrate and research about it, maybe chat with a friend who does, and I will share my experience.
To understand my perspective, I should say I am part of a small but mighty family of four living in Regina, Saskatchewan. We are right in the middle of Canada, so we experience all four seasons, from snow to hot sunny days. Both my husband and I were raised in Regina by second-generation (or more) Canadians. Our public school and federal and provincial holidays follow the catholic holiday calendar so that is what our family’s traditions were based around. I am sure there is a lot to learn about other traditions families recognize right here in Regina.
After researching national holidays around the world, many countries have a National Day of Remembrance in recognition of the sacrifices made at the end of World War I. November might not be the best month to learn about different holidays, so instead let’s look at how other countries recognize this day of remembrance.
In Canada, Remembrance Day is a recognized national holiday on November 11 for most provinces and territories. Veterans Affairs Canada shares that November 11 is a day of:
"remembrance for the men and women who have served, and continue to serve our country during times of war, conflict, and peace.”
In recognition of this day, there are many ceremonies where people lay wreaths of poppies on a memorial of our fallen heroes.
Both my husband and children had November 11 off as a holiday. So on November 10th, we were invited to a school ceremony at our children’s school. Together in the gymnasium, we watched a presentation organized by our wonderful public-school teachers. We heard stories from our veterans, sharing words of courage. We learned why the Canadian Legion sells poppies (to raise funds to support veterans), we listened to a reading of “In Flanders Field,” by John McCrae, and of course, watched the laying of poppy wreaths on a memorial. There was no clapping, we were present, remembering the cost paid for our freedom.
The UK recognizes this day similarly to Canada, no surprise considering the commonwealth ties. It is a day of remembering. There is a tradition on BBC broadcasting, they have shared the same message since 1919
In the United States, November 11 is Veterans Day (originally known as Armistice Day) and is a federal holiday. It is a day for honoring military veterans of the United States Armed Forces. Veterans Day is distinct from Memorial Day; Veterans Day celebrates the service of all US military veterans, while Memorial Day (the last Monday of May) honors those who have died while in military service.
The day after the school ceremony, November 11, was quiet. We had brunch with another family at our home and then spent the rest of the day together. I remembered to set the timer for 11:11 am. We didn’t stay quiet for two whole minutes (no chance with four kids under the age of ten), but we did take a moment to have the kids talk about what they had learned at school.
As we get older, with families of our own, we start to understand what that price of freedom really cost. As a parent, I do my best to raise my children to remember the price we paid, in hopes of it never happening again.
by Kathy Sabo September 18, 2023
by Kathy Sabo September 15, 2023
by Kathy Sabo September 11, 2023
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