Observance not lost on sergeant

·2 min read

Each year on Nov. 11, Canadians gather to mark Remembrance Day, a chance to remember war, loss and sacrifice.

“People use this as a time to reflect back on the losses and sacrifices over time in the various conflicts that have occurred,” says Sgt. Patrick Madderom of the 39 Service Battalion at Richmond’s Sherman Armoury.

But, he adds, it’s important to continue to observe the occasion today.

“Nowadays war and conflict do continue, they’re present, and it’s important to recognize the sacrifices that continue to this day, and recognize the tragedies that exist on a global scale such as the First World War and the Second World War so we can strive to avoid them in the future.”

Observed since 1919 in Commonwealth countries, Remembrance Day marks the end of hostilities in the First World War, which happened on that date the previous year. The day is traditionally marked by a ceremony that includes a one- or two-minute silence at 11 a.m., as well as the sounding of several traditional bugle tunes. Other countries outside the Commonwealth also recognize the day, although not always on Nov. 11.

While the annual recognition falls on a day significant to the First World War, it has also evolved to recognize the Second World War and more recent conflicts including fighting in Afghanistan. Madderom says people’s impression of the day has changed “as we become a little bit separated from the past and the original makings of the First World War and Armistice Day, and start focusing on things that are more current in people’s minds.”

And this year, despite the absence of a traditional in-person event outside Richmond city hall, people can still recognize the wars and sacrifices of the past, as well as more recent conflicts.

“Looking at the live stream would be a good start—taking that time out of your life to actually watch it as it (happens) live,” says Madderom. “Take the time to reflect at home, spend that time with your family and loved ones, just grasping the significance of the day and not treating it as a day off work and another holiday, but remembering the legacy of why you’re celebrating it.”

Hannah Scott, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Richmond Sentinel