Thursday, August 02, 2007


Je Me Souviens De Rien

From my pal Bumf's blog - an excellent post on the assine nature of how groups now treat Remembrance Day. I have long had an issue - working in Central Canada - that it isn't an holiday option. Not in Quebec (that figures) and not in Ontario. It is a holiday for federal workers in Ottawa and Gatineau, however, for others it is a vacation day. We can celebrate the Queen's birthday, however, we can not properly honour our own. Shame!

Is it any wonder that morons like myself can't string together two facts about previous Canadian war moments when we are too busy to stop to honour the brave?

I got this from the head of our HR department this morning:

Hello everyone –

As part of our yearly planning process […] we have been reviewing the Christmas schedule and considering ways to make it more enjoyable for everyone and to allow maximum time with friends and family. After much consideration and consultation, given the Remembrance Day statutory holiday falls on a weekend in November, we had the option to provide a day off in lieu of the holiday following that weekend, or we could substitute the day off for a different time. We have elected to move this day into December, therefore allowing two full days off work over Christmas; December 24 and December 31. Our past practice has been to let staff leave early on December 24 and 31, so now we’ll provide the entire days off on the 24th and 31st.

We hope that moving the Remembrance Day holiday into December helps you enjoy even more time away with your family over the Christmas holidays.



I understand the motive behind this, especially being someone who has to travel out-of-province every Christmas, and more especially so now that I have two families with whom to visit. However, I have a problem with using a day set aside to remember the tremendous sacrifice made by our men and women in uniform on our behalf over the years as nothing more than an excuse to get away from the office.

It is true that many people in this age regard November 11 as a given, as a way to break up the cold winter months between Thanksgiving and the holiday season. To many, it is one notch below Labour Day, another statuatory holiday whose origins we have (thankfully) forgotten but whose prominence is linked to that of one last long weekend before school is back in session.

I also understand that when citizens are given time away from work during the middle of the week to pay tribute to our fallen heroes, most people would never give an hour or two to attend the ceremonies in their respective communities anyway, whether it be attendence at their local cenotaph or a memorial service, or even simply dropping off their poppies at the nearest military memorial, and that will not change any time soon. In this circumstance, when November 11 falls on a weekend, perhaps the majority of people wouldn’t take advantage of the extra day to visit a war museum or stop by a Legion to hear the veterans’ stories, and instead use their time to get out of town. Maybe, to them, an extra day off is simply an extra day off, and that’s that.

That said, this still doesn’t mean that my good employer, who was thoughtful enough to allow me lieu time during the Christmas holidays, should not at least send a touching message on November 9th — the Friday before — as a reminder that we ought to pay our respects in our own way that following Sunday.

Simply put, November 11 is not our day off; the day belongs to our nation’s veterans. It is a shame that we have forgotten this.

Well said, Bumf, well said.

many thanks.
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