Every holiday-related long weekend comes with its share of routines. Whether its gift giving associated with Christmas, celebrations on Canada Day or church services at Easter, everyone has a schedule of events they follow and family or community events they look forward to attending. Busy times, activities and plans can sometimes overshadow the actual origin of the holiday.
Remembrance Day stands apart from all other statutory or public holidays. Its root is simple: remember Commonwealth of Nations armed forces members at the 11thhour of the 11th day of the 11th month. Whoever does just that honours the memory of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice to ensure the future freedom of their family, friends and compatriots. Attending events on the day can enhance feelings of gratitude and respect for veterans, but a quiet moment alone in remembrance, at home or at a favourite outdoor location, also suffices to honour former and current military members.
Involvement in certain wars has been questioned by some, but there is never a controversy about the meaning of Remembrance Day.
Certain statutory holidays celebrated by some groups are just another day for others. Days off work or school for Christmas, Easter, Victoria Day and Family Day are standard in BC, but not everyone celebrates the actual origins of those holidays.
Christmas is a major religious celebration for Christians, but many non-religious people take part in the festivities, usually the commercial aspect, and most everyone in Canada, regardless of their religious beliefs, has the day off from work. Easter is also an important time for Christians and a welcome day off for most in March or April, but not everyone celebrates its origins. Chocolate for some reason, however, has somehow developed an association with the holiday, for religious and non-religious citizens.
Canada is a member of the Commonwealth, but not all Canadians are enthusiastic with the association or how the monarchy attained its status. Some toast the queen on her birthday, but for others, it is just another opportunity to enjoy a quiet or busy long weekend. Family Day is still new, and while employees may enjoy an extra day off in February, employers have never been fond of the added expense.
As for Boxing Day, does it actually mean anything to anyone other than an extra day off to shop or recover from a food-induced hangover?
Remembrance Day has meaning to everyone who cares to look. If a minute or two is all you have, make the most of it before carrying on with your long weekend plans.