World War I was known as the "war to end all wars" because of the great slaughter and destruction it caused.
Early in the morning of November 11, 1918 news of the four year war coming to an end spread quickly. As the world started to celebrate the end of the war, troops were still falling until 11 a.m.
Knowing the war was to end in a few hours, when all the generals had to do was nothing, hundreds of thousands of soldiers were ordered out of their trenches to walk unprotected across open land toward enemy guns. Thousands of soldiers lost their lives that morning. Then, all fell quiet on the Western Front.
Unfortunately, the peace treaty that officially ended the conflict, the Treaty of Versailles forced harsh terms on Germany that destabilized Europe and laid the ground work for World War II.
Ninety-four years has passed since the end of World War I.
If you were to ask a youth about war, I'm sure they would most likely think of the hours they spend playing Call of Duty video games instead of the devastating reality. It's history. History is something taught in school and Remembrance Day is just a day off.
There is a certain disconnect that occurs with time. I'm not saying they don't think it's an important part of history, but memorizing Flanders Fields will not make youth understand the importance of this day.
Commercially, Halloween gets a ton of attention, as does Christmas. Remembrance Day sits nestled between these two holidays, quietly.
It's the one that sneaks up on people, because it doesn't get the same commercial attention. There is no Facebook "countdown" to Remembrance Day. It's a selfless holiday.
All Remembrance Day asks of anyone, is a moment of silence. One minute out of an entire year. Two minutes is not a lot to give. Even the most hectic can find fall silent for two minutes on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.
Waiting in line at a local restaurant last week, I watched a young man, probably around 16 years old, pay for his order and drop his change in a donation jar set out by the Royal Canadian Legion. He took a poppy and I smiled at him as he strategically placed it on his ball cap.
As he did that, I wondered if he and his friends would commemorate Remembrance Day, or would it just be another day off of school, and was the poppy just a fashion trend indicative of the day?
Although November 11 is an important day in history, it's not just to honour the fallen and who have served in the past.
It's to honour the military and paramilitary who serve our country today. Canadian Forces and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police serving to protect our country on the home front and overseas in the present time should also be honoured on Remembrance Day.
Yes, the World Wars are becoming a faded memory, but the oaths being taken by the men and women of the military and Mounted Police continue as should honouring them properly.
Perhaps adjustments need to be made to teach our youth about what Remembrance Day means today in addition to its origin, instead of strictly being a history lesson, something youth are disconnected from.