Are you going to wear an orange shirt tomorrow? If not do you wear a poppy on Remembrance Day?
Recognition and showing recognition of Canada’s history is ingrained in us every Nov. 11. Going to the cenotaph, discussing with kids why we wear a poppy, why we are gathering for a moment of silence, recognizing veterans, these are all things we do without thinking about it. Things we put effort into in a sense of recognition of the human toll taken by the country’s actions.
We don’t ask veterans to organize the events. We don’t ask them to speak, we don’t ask them to lead a prayer. We surround them with strength and love and kids and give them all the recognition we can understanding they made it through hell to build the Canada we live in. If they speak we stop everything and listen, and we hold a moment of silence and some of those times many actually feel the weight of that moment and think so glad that wasn’t me.
I’ve been asked a lot about what to do on Sept. 30, and that’s the best analogy I’ve landed on as a start. Wear an orange shirt as you wear a poppy, as a sense of duty to remember the role residential schools play in the history of Canada, and tell your kids why, just like you tell them why we wear a poppy. It’s a symbol of recognition and sorrow of Canada’s and its people’s history and losses, how the events of history shape what this country is today and how the very first step is facing the truth of this, showing the survivors that you are beginning the journey through truth and hopefully we can all one day get to reconciliation.