Today is remembrance day, a day where we honour veterans and service members around the world. Canada has been involved in many conflicts throughout its history, oftentimes while defending liberty and democratic values. It is for this reason we honour those who have chosen to dedicate their lives to peacekeeping around the globe.
As Ryerson University students, we often fail to recognize the historical significance of Toronto. We spend so much time in the downtown core without taking the chance to learn about the history that surrounds us and the significance it holds for our nation. We walk down Yonge street and University avenue, completely unaware that on these same streets over a century ago, thousands of Canadians from around the country traveled to Union station, from there taking transportation by train to Halifax or Quebec and then took ships to England - talk about long commutes!
45,000 Torontonians served in either the Canadian Expeditionary Force, or the British army throughout World War 1. As a percentage of the population, it is the equivalent of 330,000 Torontonians today.
We choose to remember and reflect on this solemn day, as many of the conflicts we have memorialized serve as warnings of the price of failed diplomacy, unilateralism and blind hate.
Lest we forget.