“We the undersigned feel enormous gratitude for the sacrifice made by all the Canadian Armed Forces through the ages in defence of this country and its values; acknowledge the very special nature of the sacrifice made by those who fought in the First World War in appalling conditions and with terrible loss of life; note that only three First World War veterans remain, and urge the Prime Minister that their sacrifice, and all of those they served with under arms from 1914-1918, be celebrated by offering a state funeral to the family of the last veteran of the First World War resident in Canada.”
Assuming that these veterans’ families are okay with this, I would strongly back the idea of giving the last surviving World War I veteran a state funeral once he passes. Think for a minute the carnage that these individuals survived, and think of how profoundly the First World War changed the face of the world. It effectively ended the Victorian aristocracy. It laid the foundations (along with the Civil War) of the terrible conflicts that would follow. In Canada, Vimy Ridge became known as the birth of this nation.
And the last individuals in this country who can remember this time are about to leave us. Their passing deserves to be marked.
A commentator on Greg Staples blog does raise a good point. It may seem odd to give one veteran the state funeral, given that the 600,000 other veterans from this period have received nothing of the kind, but in my view, assuming the family is okay with this, this state funeral would be for those 600,000 other veterans as well. This passing of history into history should be marked in some way.
If you agree with me, then click here to sign the petition.
We have an interesting confluence of events, here. Since Remembrance Day is falling on a Saturday this year, the following Monday sees the impact of various bank closures and government holidays. Here in Ontario, it also happens to be the date of the municipal election.
Traditionally, turnout at municipal elections is low, but I hope that the presence of Remembrance Day gets a few more people out to the polls. After all, one of the things that our soldiers fought and died for was our right to go out and cast our vote. Let’s honour that sacrifice, shall we?