Last week Veterans Affairs Canada hosted a webinar entitled “Canada remembers CAF around the world” (if you are a member of Facebook, you can view the whole ~40-minute webinar at https://www.facebook.com/177183000662/>videos/436766764409326 ). As a part of that webinar, they shared the following video that they have designed to solicit feedback from Canadians:
The basic idea is that we are past the 100th anniversary for all of the WWI events and the 75th anniversary for all of the WWII events, plus the reality that there are no WWI veterans remaining (barely any citizens still alive who were even born by the end of the war), very few WWI veterans, and even a dwindling number of Korean War veterans. So these events – and even these veterans – are no longer a part of our collective memory or our communities. For most Canadians, they are events in a history book.
Veterans Affairs were very purposeful to state that this does not mean that we should forget about or not include these remembrances. But they were also clear that we need to do a better job of highlighting the experiences of Canadian veterans who were engaged in various Cold War, UN Peacekeeping, and NATO missions – many of which are starting to hit their 30th or 40th or 50th anniversaries and beyond (e.g., Operations Standard and Stable in Haiti began 25 years ago, the Gulf War was 30 years ago, Operation CALUMET in the Sinai was 40 years ago, our operation in the Congo ended 57 years ago, our presence in the Suez as a part of United Nations Emergency Force was 65 years ago).
If you have opinions on this shift, Veterans Affairs Canada welcomes public consultation. You can find out how to get involved in the conversation by visiting https://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/about-vac/what-we-do/public-engagement/remembrance-planning