Farmers thank veterans ahead of Remembrance Day
First World War hostilities ended on Nov. 11, 1918
By Diego Flammini
Poppies will be front and centre around the world tomorrow in recognition of Remembrance Day.
On Nov. 11, 1918, German, British and French representatives signed an armistice to end First World War hostilities. The war officially ended the following June.
With that piece of history top of mind, Farms.com reached out to members of the Canadian ag community and give them an opportunity to thank the past and present generations of the military for their services.
For some producers, saying thank you isn’t enough.
“How do you properly thank them for offering to defend our country?” Brad Kornelius, vice chair of SaskMilk and dairy farmer from Osler, Sask., told Farms.com today. “We certainly are appreciative of what they do for us and we hope everyone will wear a poppy tomorrow and make donations where they can.”
Other farmers, like Lynn Jacobson, president of the Alberta Federation of Agriculture, have a personal connection to the military. Those relationships make Remembrance Day ceremonies a little more special.
“Members of my family served in the Second World War. My wife’s family served in the military and still has people serving today,” he told Farms.com. “But when you think about it, we all kind of have a personal relationship with our troops.”
Remembrance Day is also an opportunity to reflect on democracy and other freedoms people in some countries aren’t privy to.
People can get so busy with daily life that they forget about how they’ve been afforded these opportunities, says Norm Hall, vice president of the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS).
“At APAS we deal with policy and what we think the government should do to make agriculture better, but we rarely think about why we can do what we do,” he told Farms.com today. “We have the freedom to criticize our government and speak freely. And that’s because of our past and present military. We need to thank all military veterans.”
Some farmers defended the country before they became stewards of the land.
For nearly 30 years, Ottawa-native William Hawley served as a tank driver in the Canadian armed forces.
He recently completed a business course at the University of Regina and is in the second year of poultry and vegetable farming at Buena Vista Farm in Metcalfe, Ont.
And life on a farm does have its parallels to life in the military, he said.
“You have to be prepared for absolutely everything possible,” he told Farms.com today. “In the military I provided civil aid during the 1997 Montreal ice storm, was deployed in Bosnia for a peacekeeping mission and in Afghanistan for a combat mission.
“You have to be ready, equipped and trained to do anything at the drop of a hat. No two days are the same in either line of work.”
Top photo: SHAWSHANK61/Getty Images Plus