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Taking a look at whether Remembrance Day should be a national holiday

Some may see it as a day to respect veterans, others may see it as glorifying war

Video by: Mariam Nouser
Multimedia by: Clesha Felicien

By: Vincent Tran

The debate surrounding whether Remembrance Day should be a national holiday continued this past Wednesday. 

Maggie Balsdon, daughter of veteran Fredrick Balsdon, said the day commemorates sacrifices that veterans made for their country. 

“I think it’s important that people remember and look back at the sacrifices people had to make to get us where we are today,” said Balsdon. 

Nov. 11 is a day where Canadians, and many people around the world, take time to reflect on those that served the country and fought in wars to protect the freedoms of the citizens. 

That is what some view Remembrance Day as, but some may argue that it glorifies war and the negative reasons for engaging in those wars. 

Fredrick Balsdon passed away as a result of the asbestos he was exposed to while serving as a peacekeeper during the Rwandan genocide (courtesy Maggie Balsdon)

War and imperialism

Eli Savage, a fourth-year new media student at Ryerson University believed that Remembrance Day should not be a national holiday. He said apart from WWII, wars had more often than not been a form of imperialism. 

“If we’re going to seriously examine the sacrifices that these people had to make, we have to look at the reasons why they had to make those sacrifices,” said Savage. 

David Jardine, a second-year professional communications student, said that other dates should be prioritized or more important than Remembrance Day, such as federal election days. 

“I think there are things that are much more helpful if we made them a national holiday instead,” said Jardine. 

Whole Foods stated that they weren’t allowing their employees to wear poppies as they believed it was a political issue. 

Balsdon, Savage and Jardine all thought that employers shouldn’t have the right to stop their employees from wearing poppies.

Whole Foods has since retracted their statement on poppies.

The history of Remembrance Day

November 13, 2020

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Vince Tran

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