What are we supposed to remember every November 11? The Oxford dictionary defines the word historical as belonging to or dealing with history or past events. Note the word belonging, we belong to those past events because they helped shape the country we now live in. Although the First World War ended one hundred years ago, long before any of us were born, the events of that conflict still resonate in today's society.
Daylight savings time was introduced to allow more sunlight hours for farmers and factory workers. Prior to the war, the Canadian government did not collect income tax. The tax was originally meant to fund the war effort and end when peace arrived. A century later, we are still paying income tax. Women were first granted the right to vote, in an albeit limited way, in 1918. Those are three examples of how changes brought about during the First War became permanent and why the war still plays a part in our daily lives.
I am a historian, particularly regarding the World War One. My grandfather served in the Canadian army during the war and he was one of the fortunate men who survived. I have visited many of the old battlefields and cemeteries in France and Belgium and walked the rows of headstones to pay my respects while saying aloud that these young men have not been forgotten.
- Gary Turner