FILE – Remembrance Day parade makes its way to the Dallas Square cenotaph downtown in Nanaimo.

heritage minute

More Canadians plan to attend Remembrance Day ceremonies this year: poll

But it’s not just about thanking veterans, the poll suggests; it’s also about learning from them.

A new survey suggests more Canadians are planning to mark Remembrance Day this year, perhaps in a salute to the few remaining veterans of the Second World War.

The poll commissioned by Historica Canada, the organization behind the popular Heritage Minute videos, suggests the percentage of Canadians who plan to attend Remembrance Day ceremonies has climbed to 41 per cent, a boost of two per cent over last year and 14 per cent over 2016.

The online survey, conducted by Ipsos, also indicates 88 per cent of Canadians feel it’s important to attend such events while veterans of the Second World War can still be present.

“We’re aware now that even the youngest of those who served in World War II — 75, 76 years ago — are now in their mid-90s. The number of those who served, who used to be so common in every community, is really diminishing,” said Historica CEO Anthony Wilson-Smith.

ALSO READ: 36 memorial trees for fallen soldiers ‘hiding in plain sight’ around Langley

“The day is coming soon when they won’t be with us, and I think Canadians collectively feel that this is our time to say thank you.”

But it’s not just about thanking veterans, the poll suggests; it’s also about learning from them. The vast majority of survey respondents — 94 per cent — agreed that hearing veterans speak about their experiences is the best way for young people to understand conflict, and 80 per cent said they had heard a veteran tell their story.

That personal element can be very powerful, Wilson-Smith said.

“If you’re, for example, in your 20s or 30s, you do have that feeling of ‘there but for the grace of timing go I,’” he said. “In other words, if I’d been this age 10 or 15 years ago (for the Afghanistan War) or if I’d have been that age 75 years ago for World War II or even World War I, that could have been me out there.”

Ipsos conducted the online poll between Oct. 21 and 24, surveying 1,000 Canadians. The polling industry’s professional body, the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, says online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error because they do not randomly sample the population.

Nicole Thompson, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

Just Posted

Boundary hospital ‘ready for a surge,’ hoping it never comes

The emergency department director confirmed there were active COVID-19 cases in the Boundary

Grand Forks and Boundary cancellations, changes due to COVID-19

This newspaper’s list of community events, institutions that change or cancel due to pandemic

COVID-19: Interior Health orders closure of all fitness centres until May 30

The order is subject to revision, cancellation, or extension

Don’t avoid doctor’s office if you need help, say Kootenay Boundary physicians

There are alternatives to coming in physically to offices, docs say

Slocan Valley craft distiller wading through obstacles to help fight COVID-19

From raw materials to licences to bottles, getting production ramped up has been a challenge

From inside the ER: B.C. doctor tells it like it is from the frontlines of COVID-19

‘Stay home. It’s working,’ says ER doctor in a Q&A discussion, ‘And please don’t worry.’

B.C. senior gives blood for 200th time, has ‘saved’ 600 lives

There was no cutting of cake for Harvey Rempel but he’s challenging youth to start donating blood

Trudeau commits $100M to help food banks amid COVID-19 crisis

Funds will help ‘urgent food needs’ for Canadians awaiting federal emergency benefits to kick in

Couple won’t self-isolate after returning from overseas: Cowichan by-law

New law requires 14 days of self-isolation when returning to Canada

How well can cell phones carry COVID-19? Disinfecting may be wise

‘You want to keep it as clean as you would normally your hands’

3M pushes back on Trump administration call to stop sending N95 masks to Canada

3M says it has already been turning out as many of the N95 masks as possible

B.C. health care workers gain access to virtual health care options

During COVID-19 many clinics have closed, leaving health care workers with nowhere to turn

Tax collectors, auditors to help field ‘historic’ numbers of benefit-seeking callers

‘If you work for CRA, people think we are just there to take money from your pockets.’

Most Read