We annually commemorate Remembrance Day to honour and recognize those who fought and have sacrificed their lives for Canada. We wear our poppies proudly and take a moment of silence to remember on November 11. We asked some of the Global News team what the importance of Remembrance Day means to them. This is what they shared.
Global Calgary’s Gord Gilles honours his great uncle
I was about eight years old, fidgeting in church during a Remembrance Day service, when I noticed my Grandma weeping. I was shocked and asked her why she was crying? That’s when she told me about her brother Charlie. He was the youngest of nine, the beloved baby. Charlie had gone off to war and didn’t return. Grandma said he died shortly after D-Day in France. I hugged her and told her I’d visit him one day. She burst into more tears.
Over the years I learned Charlie was a journalist with the Canadian Press. He could have gone to war in that capacity, perhaps a safer route, but he volunteered. Asked why at his going away party he told my Grandpa “Well, someone has to carry the rifles.”
Forty years later I was able to fulfill that promise. I walked along Juno Beach and visited Beny Sur Mer Cemetery. I found the grave of Charles Stewart Hood and introduced him to my family. I told him Grandma misses him and we all cried. It was so powerful. The cemetery was immaculate, with overwhelmingly sad, rows and rows of crosses, but a beautiful place to rest.
Every Remembrance Day I think of Charlie, my Grandma weeping, and all those who “carried the rifles” and didn’t come home. And I thank them all.
Gord Gilles anchors Global News Calgary’s News Hour.
Global National’s Vassy Kapelos remembers Corporal Nathan Cirillo
The Ottawa War Memorial. Vassy Kapelos
The Ottawa War Memorial.
Remembrance Day has always been important to me, but in the last year it’s taken on new significance. It’s now been just over a year since Corporal Nathan Cirillo was shot and killed standing guard outside the War Memorial in Ottawa. Since our offices are just across the street, we were there before police arrived. Those images of Cirillo and the people trying to keep him alive are burned in my mind, and I think etched in our collective memory. The outpouring of support from Canadians that followed is also something that sticks with me. This Remembrance Day, I’ll be thinking of Cpl. Cirillo and all those who have lost their lives so that we can live ours.
Vassy Kapelos is Global National’s Parliamentary Correspondent.
Gord Steinke of Global Edmonton’s special connection to Remembrance Day
Remembrance Day plays a very important role in my family. We are all very proud of our grandfather LCol Thomas Herbert Ford. He was a WWI veteran who fought overseas in major battles such as Vimy Ridge, The Somme and Ypres with the 29th Vancouver Battalion (also known as Tobin’s Tigers). I have his uniform and kit on display in our home. I enjoy sharing his history, stories and songs he passed along to me with family members and students. It’s because of soldiers like him that we should never forget the sacrifice these brave men and women made for our freedom today.
Gord Steinke with his grandfather’s uniform from WWI. Gord Steinke
Gord Steinke with his grandfather’s uniform from WWI.
It was also a huge privilege to be appointed as Honorary LCol of 15 Field Ambulance with our Canadian Forces. I’ve been very fortunate to spend time with our military men and women and get a behind the scenes look at the amazing work they do for our country. All highly trained, talented and dedicated to their uniform. It’s such an honour to march with the troops in my unit to the Beverly Cenotaph in Edmonton (built shortly after WWI) every Remembrance Day. Grandpa would be proud.
Gord Steinke anchors Global Edmonton’s News Hour.
Global Montreal’s Camille Ross is proud to call Canada home
In the early 1970’s both of my parents immigrated to Canada from Guyana with hopes and dreams of a better life. Canada was a country free from political strife and racial conflict.
On this Remembrance Day I reflect on the brave young men who courageously went to war to ensure Canada would remain free. I imagine the fear in their minds paired against the loyalty in their hearts. How difficult it must have been to leave their families, knowing they may never return. How difficult it must have been in those trenches, wondering if the war would ever end.
Camille Ross and her family. Camille Ross
Camille Ross and her family.
How difficult it must have been to return from war, only to be haunted by what they saw. No amount of gratitude can match their sacrifice.
The Canada they fought for is the Canada my family so proudly calls home. We enjoy freedom, security and opportunity. This great country has a storied history that can never be forgotten or taken for granted. Our soldiers deserve to be celebrated, honoured and respected, always.
Camille Ross anchors Global Montreal’s Morning News.