I'm not sure if it's a "this year" thing, or if it's a city thing, but either way: It's awful.
Hardly anyone has been wearing a poppy lately. One of my roommates has been keeping a rough count, and estimates that only about 1 in 6 people off-campus wear poppies, and on-campus the number is more like 1 in 10. At home, there would be more like 1 in 10 NOT wearing poppies, if the number was even that big.
My peers disappoint me. The majority of my friends wouldn't come to the Remembrance Day ceremony this morning because they had other things to do. Like sleeping, or homework. I'm sorry, but thousands of people your age gave up their LIVES for this country, and thus for YOU. I'm pretty sure you can give up AN HOUR to go honour them. In the words of Terry Kelly, it's a pittance of time.
The worst, though, is the amount of people that use it as an excuse to go party. "Oh, we don't have class on Wednesday, it won't matter if I'm hungover, let's get trashed Tuesday night!" No, no, no, no, NO! That is not appropriate. That is disrespectful. That is disgusting.
At the ceremony this morning, no one sang. I can understand not singing the hymns. I personally do not know all the words to "Oh God our help in ages past" off the top of my head, so I can sympathize with you on that one. HOWEVER. O Canada. The national anthem. Not one voice raised in song. Not one mouth opened in support of this nation. Not one. What?
I've been trying and trying to come up with explanations for this phenomenon. I have a few, but none of them seem like justification to me.
So Halifax is a university town. There's a young population. Our generation is further removed from the realities of war, don't know people who gave their lives, blah blah blah. I can see where you're coming from on that one, but no. I don't think a separation of time lessens the sacrifice.
I was thinking that maybe it's because there's less of a community connection to the legion in Halifax? Around home, I could tell you where just about any of the legion halls are. Community events and that sort of thing frequently list the legion as a sponsor. Halifax? Legion hall? No clue! And everything is sponsored by The Bounce and The Chronicle Herald. So maybe that's part of it? I don't know.
And the other thing I was thinking of is the current wars: Afghanistan and Iraq. Normally you would expect the fact that there's a war going to make people more thankful for veterans. But I know hardly anyone that supports those two wars. So maybe that's somehow skewing their view on the World Wars? I think you'd have to be severely uninformed to not be able to see the difference between the two situations, though.
Whatever the reason, I think it's a terrible state of affairs.