From November 5-11—Veterans’ Week—we honour those who have served Canada, past and present, in times of war, military conflict and peace. This year’s theme is the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War.
Από τις 5 έως τις 11 Νοεμβρίου τιμούμε αυτούς που έχουν υπηρετήσει τον Καναδά, στο παρελθόν και στο παρόν, σε περιόδους πολέμου, στρατιωτικών συγκρούσεων και ειρήνης. Το φετινό θέμα είναι η 75η επέτειος από το τέλος του Β ‘Παγκοσμίου Πολέμου. Η Ημέρα Μνήμης τιμάται την 11η Νοεμβρίου κάθε έτους και σηματοδοτεί το τέλος του Α Παγκοσμίου Πολέμου το 1918. Η πρόθεση της ημέρας είναι να θυμηθούμε τους πεσόντες του «Μεγάλου Πολέμου».
Στις 11:00 π.μ. 11 Νοεμβρίου 1918, «την ενδέκατη ώρα, της ενδέκατης μέρας, του ενδέκατου μήνα» αποτελεί την χρονική στιγμή έναρξης της συνθήκης ανακωχής των συμμάχων με τη Γερμανία της Κομπιέν (Compiègne), όπου έληξε και επίσημα ο Πρώτος Παγκόσμιος Πόλεμος.
Η επέτειος εορτάζεται με κατάθεση στεφάνου στο μνημείο Αγνώστου Στρατιώτη από ανώτατους εκπροσώπους των αρχών και κατά παράδοση με δύο λεπτών
σιγή που αρχίζει στις 11:00 π.μ. της 11ης Νοεμβρίου, για να δοθεί φόρος τιμής στα 20 εκατομμύρια νεκρούς του Πρώτου Παγκοσμίου Πολέμου.
Η κόκκινη παπαρούνα υιοθετήθηκε σαν σύμβολο της Remembrance Day, λόγω του ποιήματος «In Flanders Fields» (1915) του Καναδού ποιητή John McCrae, ο οποίος πολέμησε στον Α’ Παγκόσμιο Πόλεμο. Ο μύθος θέλει τα πεδία των μαχών στην ευρύτερη περιοχή της Φλαμανδίας, στο Βέλγιο, να γεμίζουν με ανθισμένες παπαρούνες με το τέλος των εχθροπραξιών. Είναι γνωστό άλλωστε στην Αγγλία το ποίημα «Στα λιβάδια της Φλάνδρας» («Ιn Flanders field»), που έγραψε το 1915 ο υπολοχαγός Τζον ΜακΚρέι, προς τιμήν ενός φίλου του που σκοτώθηκε στη μάχη, και αναφέρεται στις παπαρούνες που άνθισαν εκείνο το Μάη, στο μέτωπο. Ο ΜακΚρέι πρόσεξε τότε πως οι παπαρούνες ήταν το πρώτο άνθος.
Statement by the Prime Minister on Veterans’ Week
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, issued the following statement on Veterans’ Week, which runs from November 5 to 11, 2020:
“Today, as we mark the beginning of Veterans’ Week, we honour those who have served, and continue to serve, for our country. We thank the hundreds of thousands of Canadian veterans who have fought and risked everything to secure a better future for Canada and the world.
“This year, we marked the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. Over six years, more than one million brave Canadians and Newfoundlanders served in uniform around the world – from Normandy, to Amsterdam, to Sicily, to Hong Kong. More than 45,000 gave their lives, and another 55,000 were wounded, to protect our Allies and defend the values and freedoms we cherish.
“In the decades that followed, Canadians continued to answer the call and prove their strength and resilience. They defended against enemy forces in Kapyong, protected civilians in Sarajevo, braved insurgent attacks in Kandahar, supported our Allies in Riga, and participated in peacekeeping missions in Port-au-Prince and Kigali.
“This week is an opportunity to hear their stories, and offer our gratitude for their extraordinary service to our great country.
“We will always be indebted to our veterans for all that they have sacrificed, and the Government of Canada will continue to be there for them. Since 2016, we have invested over $10 billion to improve the well-being of our veterans and their families, including improved benefits and services, more help with their transition to post-service life, and increased mental health supports.
“This year, as we take steps to protect ourselves and our communities from the global COVID-19 pandemic, we will mark Veterans’ Week and Remembrance Day a bit differently. I encourage all Canadians to check out the online commemorations, to share their stories, photos, and videos on social media using #CanadaRemembers, and to wear a poppy – along with a mask – when you do go out. To those who have sacrificed so we may be at peace: we are forever thankful.
“Lest we forget.”
Federal leaders commemorate lost military members ahead of Remembrance Day
Federal political leaders say Canadians can still honour the sacrifices of the country’s veterans even without traditional Remembrance Day events.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, along with other federal party leaders, rose in the House of Commons Thursday to pay their own tributes ahead of the Nov. 11 commemorations.
Public events are being drastically scaled back due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Trudeau said Canadians do not need to wonder how the country can rise to the moment of honouring soldiers’ service, because it is already happening.
“We see it in young people getting groceries for older veterans to keep them safe, we see it in front-line workers who, after hours of standing on tired feet, never give up as they care for our parents and grandparents, the last members of the ‘Greatest Generation,”‘ he said.
Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole, who served in the Royal Canadian Air Force, said while the traditional gatherings at cenotaphs and parades are meaningful, they are not the only way to remember.
He called on Canadians to share their reflections on social media, wear poppies even if nobody sees them and take time to learn about Canada’s military heritage.
O’Toole also acknowledged the many still-serving or retired soldiers who suffer from the invisible psychological wounds of war, and the struggles they may face during Remembrance Day this year, when a lack of community events leaves them alone.
“I want veterans to know that they are not alone,” he said.
“They have a grateful nation with them. They have friends and comrades that want them to reach out. They have supports. They are loved and we are all here for them. They are going to get through this week, just as our country is going to get through this pandemic.”
Modern forms of aggression mean the fight to stand up for Western values is also waged by civilians who are losing their lives just for speaking up, said Bloc Quebecois leader Yves-Francois Blanchet.
“I would like to say to all these people, from all these times ΓÇª ‘I remember’,” he said in French.
Parliament also has a role to play, said NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh.
Decisions on whether, how or when to send soldiers off to war must be taken seriously, as must how the government treats those who return.
“Too often Canada is not doing right by veterans. They experience long wait times, denials and other barriers to the services and supports they need,” he said.
“This is not, or should not be, a partisan issue. We can always improve, and we will continue to make sure we do.”
Remembrance Week Proclaimed in Toronto
Mayor John Tory proclaimed November 5 to 11 as Remembrance Week in Toronto. Remembrance Week is a time when Torontonians can reflect on those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country and honour all Canadians who have fought and continue to fight for peace.
This year, Remembrance Day commemorations will be held virtually in keeping with public health advice against in-person gatherings due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The City of Toronto encourages the public to observe this year’s Remembrance Day commemorations virtually at home or at work. The City will ensure appropriate respect and honour is paid by placing wreaths at the City’s cenotaphs on behalf of various organizations.
The City’s virtual commemorations will focus on the diversity of Toronto’s participation in times of war and significant milestones, as 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War and 100 years of marking Remembrance Day with a public ceremony.
Commemorative activities planned for Remembrance Day include:
- The Toronto sign and the City Hall Towers will be lit in red on November 11.
- Virtual ceremonies will be made available via broadcast media and the City’s YouTube channel throughout the week.
- All Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) vehicles will stop for two minutes on November 11 at 11 a.m. In addition, “Lest We Forget” window cards will be placed in TTC vehicles prior to Remembrance Day.
- Commemorative posts will be available on the City’s official Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts throughout Remembrance Week.
- The public can show support for veterans and commemorate Remembrance Day by using the City’s Poppies Facebook frame available at https://www.facebook.com/profilepicframes and search ”City of Toronto Poppies” to change their frame.
- The Toronto Archives’ 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War web exhibit shares the history of Canada’s participation in the Second World War through historical images from the time
- The World Wars section of the Toronto Archives’ Black History in Toronto page provides information about Black Canadians’ participation in World Wars
- Artifacts from Fort York National Historic Site, Canada’s largest collection of original War of 1812 buildings and an 1813 battlefield, can be seen online through the Toronto History Museums Artifact Collection. Search “Remembrance Day” on the web page to view commemorative items, including Remembrance Day programs, proclamations and photos, and military medals and uniforms.
In addition, Torontonians can view the Mayor’s official proclamation, learn how the City remembers and access a virtual Golden Book of Remembrance and additional resources on the City’s virtual commemorations web page at https://www.toronto.ca/city-government/awards-tributes/tributes/toronto-remembers/upcoming-commemorations/.
“Throughout Remembrance Week, we will remember and honour all Torontonians and Canadians who fought for the peace and freedom we enjoy today. I encourage all Torontonians to participate in acts of remembrance such as the wearing of poppies and observing a moment of silence on November 11 to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice.”
– Mayor John Tory