From The Mayor's Desk:
Doug Lawrance - Mayor, Sioux Lookout
The pandemic has impacted much of our normal way of living, including our customary way of commemoration on Remembrance Day. The Edwin Switzer Memorial Sioux Lookout Legion remains closed and unable to host the typical annual gathering and ceremony. The Legion has found other ways to honour veterans this year, as should we all.
The first Remembrance Day, called Armistice Day, was held in 1919 one year after the signing of the armistice that ended the First World War on November 11, 1918. That was a long time ago. Depending on your age that could be as many as five generations ago. There have been other wars since then in which Canada and Canadians engaged, including the Second World War, the Korean War, and the war in Afghanistan. Canadians have also served in many peacekeeping missions. Remembrance Day is a day to commemorate not only those who died in war, but all those who served.
As the years go by there are fewer of those who were directly involved in the world wars still with us. And as the number of generations between those wars and the present day increases, those wars must seem more remote and conceptual to the younger generations. Perhaps the current pandemic, when traditional ways of commemoration are not possible, provides room for innovation in our remembrance.
We all take much for granted these days when it comes to democracy, freedoms, and rights. Often that is why those historic wars were fought, why people made sacrifices – for the future, for our present. Learning how our own families were impacted by wars of bygone days would be a meaningful way of commemoration. Depending on your age, you may need to go back a few generations. But if you dig hard enough, far enough back, you will undoubtedly find that somewhere in your family history there are real connections and impacts to those wars and their associated sacrifices and hardships. By doing so you will be honouring all those who served and sacrificed in different ways and different times.
Wear a poppy support our local Legion with a donation. And on November 11th take time to have a moment of silence and help preserve the memory of sacrifices made from which we all benefit.