Remembrance Day services will be held across the country tomorrow, attracting thousands of people across Canada to honor those who paid the ultimate sacrifice during both world wars.
According to the Canadian War Museum, during the time of war close to 620,000 Canadians enlisted with the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) during the war, with roughly 420,000 serving overseas.
The museum’s website states 59,544 members of the CEF died during the war, with 172,000 being wounded in the line of duty. Only one Canadian, Curley Christian is reported to have lost all four limbs in the war.
Retired Master Corporal John Windley served as a medical assistant during his career in the military and recounted several moments but says Remembrance Day holds a special meaning to him because the service runs deep in his family.
“It gives me a chance to really reflect on what prior veterans have gone through, from all branches,” he Windley says. “It gives me a chance to think about my grandfather who served in World War II, my brothers and cousins who served, and those serving now including my daughter.”
Windley highlighted some of his campaigns during his time in the military, highlighting what he remembers during his time in the Middle East, especially with the current conflict happening along the Gaza Strip.
He says it’s vitally important to remember those who fell and feels people should definitely observe the moment of silence to say thank you to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
“Take that moment at 11:00, on the 11,” he says. “Stop what you’re doing for a moment and reflect, if we don’t learn from history, we are doomed to repeat it.”
According to the Government of Canada’s website, there are currently 68,000 Regular Force serving members, and 27,000 Reserve Force members serving to protect Canada.