By Ian Croft
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
With the ongoing Ukraine-Russia conflict still eating up ink in newspapers across the nation, Bow River MP Martin Shields believes this has translated into a renewed interest in Remembrance Day in Canada, including a focus on issues facing Canadian veterans.
“One of the things that is a highlight for me is a number of communities that work at supporting the poppy campaigns,” said Shields They support the Remembrance Day programs in their communities. We have larger turn outs in more communities than ever, and it is really, really a positive part of my job is to be able to attend community events and there’s great ones all over the riding.”
Shields also reflected on how the view of war has changed since we now live in an age where everything is more interconnected, and information is far more widely available.
“Remembrance Day is really an important one especially with what’s happening in Ukraine. I think we probably got more than a generation of people in this country who have never experienced — from a media point of view — a war going on in a developed country like we’ve seen with Russia and Ukraine. I think that brings to light how important it is to remember those people who serve our country and wear the uniform for their country. I’ve seen many things in schools, events, and communities that really support the people who have worn our uniforms and the people who continue to do it.”
Along with this Shields also discussed how the interpretation of Remembrance Day changed due to this new war in Ukraine.
“I think the war with Russia and Ukraine has brought that a little closer to the front for people who go, ‘Oh, ya that’s not just the First World War or the Second World War or the Korean War.’ That’s something that’s happening today with technological advances, media participation, in the sense of social media, and (brings) that a little more to the forefront. We are not experiencing that in Canada and hope we never do, but we need to remember, and I’ve seen so much of that done by communities to remember those people who do wear the uniforms and support us in keeping our country secure and safe.”
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