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

Almost 150 calls of service for Westshore Towing during snowstorm

Most calls were from Sooke, Metchosin and Highlands

Esquimalt, T’Sou-ke nations join more than 50 other members in South Island Prosperity Partnership

Chiefs look forward to creating ‘sustainable future’ for next generations

Langford Legion gives the gift of tech to elementary school

Savory donation of $2,680 funds four Chromebooks and two iPad minis

Hydro pole fire closes portion of Metchosin Road in Colwood

Motorists are advised to avoid the area of Metchosin Road near Royal Bay

Strong winds expected in Greater Victoria Friday evening

Winds are expected to ease Saturday morning

Kids across Canada more at risk of hospitalization from flu this season: doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam said influenza B does not usually peak until February or later

Theft victim confronts suspects with baseball bat on Vancouver Island

RCMP in Nanaimo seek to identify of two people alleged to have used a stolen credit card

Closed mills, housing surge support a positive forecast for lumber industries

B.C. lumber producers have closed mills accounting for 18% of province’s capacity, RBC report says

The Coldest Night of the Year comes to Sooke

National event helps those who are hungry and homeless

Kelowna’s ‘Baby Mary’ finds biological parents after more than 30 years

Geneologist and DNA test helped her connect with her biological parents

SOOKE HISTORY: Remembering Salvatore (Sam) Pasta

Salvatore (Sam) Pasta lived life to the fullest

Clerk bruised, traumatized after armed robbery at Nanaimo liquor store

Few details on male suspect in Wednesday incident, says Nanaimo RCMP

One last blast of winter tonight for parts of the Island before temperatures on the rise

A snowfall warning is in effect Friday including east Vancouver Island.

‘Scariest boat ride of my life’: Passengers trapped by ice on rocky B.C. ferry sailing

The Nimpkish docked in Bella Coola on Jan.12 coated in a thick layer of ice

Most Read