Since 1919, each November 11th Canada has proclaimed a day of recognition for the many veterans who have taken some portion of their early or mid-life years and devoted them to Canadian military service. We celebrate Remembrance Day on November 11th because it was on that date in 1918 that Allied forces and Germany signed the armistice that ended WW I. Some 619,636 Canadians enlisted with the Canadian Expeditionary Force during the war, and approximately 424,000 served overseas. Of these men and women, 59,544 members of the CEF died during the war, 51,748 of them as a result of enemy action. Hope at the time was that the Great War, as it was called, would accomplish an end to all wars. Unfortunately, that hope was quickly dashed and has never since been achieved.
Canada has had war veterans since 1759, when six militia battalions took part in the unsuccessful defence of Québec. Today in Canada 64,000 active regular and 26,000 reserve veterans live among us. At a small neighbourhood restaurant you’d be hard pressed not to come across two, three or more active or retired Canadian military veterans. But no matter where you go this November, remember this. Many, many veterans put aside some portion of their life with the goal of making life better for their fellow countrymen and women. They likely made little money doing so. They likely had some struggles following their service. We at Paul Davis are fortunate to have many military vets as co-workers and associates, clients and customers. We are truly grateful to them. You, too, will come in contact with military vets this November. If you find that someone you’re speaking to is a veteran, offering thanks for their service will be a most welcome expression of gratitude. It will cost you nothing, but it will mean a great deal to that veteran.