Few people plan to participate in Memorial Day events or wear cartoons this year, according to a survey from Historica Canada which also suggests that knowledge of Canadian military history is declining.
The poll found that about 71 percent of respondents would wear poppy, down from 85% last year; and 28 percent of people attending the festivals either online or in person, dropped from 41 percent last year.
Anthony Wilson-Smith of Historica Canada says the findings are understandable, given the global epidemic, but the biggest problem, which could be caused by COVID-19, is the declining knowledge of military history.
A poll conducted by Ipsos found that 4 out of 10 Canadians feel that they know more about American military history than Canadian – rising from a third of Canadians last year.
Meanwhile 16 percent of Canadians have never read about Canadian major conflicts in schools – including World War I, World War II, the Korean War and the October Crisis.
It also found that 45 percent of respondents thought they knew about the history of black, Indigenous, and racist groups in the Canadian military service, but only 14 percent could properly identify the entire black army in the country – Construction Force number 2..
Wilson-Smith says this year is a great opportunity to experience Canadian military history, in part because of COVID-19.
“It is a pandemic that requires great unity, which puts people under unprecedented conditions, no one has ever lived in it, I will not say it is like a war situation, but we call for other similar qualities,” he said.
And this year is a year to remember that we have had some difficult times before – in fact it was much harder in 1939 to 45 than we are today. ”
It is also a frustrating day for the Memorial, considering the epidemic has taken its toll on veterans.
It is difficult for many veterans to apply for a grant this year because they cannot see a doctor. And those who have applied for longer waiting times to find out if they are eligible for assistance as the government is slowly moving through the backlog of claims.
Wilson-Smith said those looking to get their Canadian military history can look to resources from Historica, or those provided by Heritage Canada.