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Polls indicate more Canadians support monuments to soldiers who died in modern times

The Canadian War memorial in Ottawa to remember the fallen soldiers.

Wikimedia Commons

Polls indicate more Canadians support monuments to soldiers who died in modern times

India Blooms News Services | 07 Nov 2016, 02:49 am
Toronto, Nov 6 (IBNS): A vast majority of respondents, in a study commissioned by Historica Canada, desired building national monuments to soldiers who died in modern times, apart from just commemorating a Remembrance Day.

About 76 percent of the responders referred to the memorial in United States' Vietnam Wall, which records the names of fallen soldiers in their country’s military, desired similar efforts by Canadians to build monuments for their fallen soldiers.

Almost 86 percent poll respondents believed building of national monuments should be a part of the celebrations of Canada's forthcoming 150th birthday.

Great emphasis was laid by the survey respondents for ongoing education on Canada's military accomplishments.

62 percent of them pointed out students in Canada were ignorant of the country's struggles during the war.

A growing number of Canadian provinces have continuously stressed on the importance of including the history of Canada in the middle or high school curriculum.

Anthony Wilson-Smith, Chief Executive of Historica Canada said the poll results, prepared by Ipsos, supported the rising trend in recent years.

"We continue to see very strong support that transcends political divisions or even philosophical difference for the principle of honouring veterans," he said the Canadian Press in a telephone interview.

Wilson-Smith pointed out that the aim of the company’s research was to build a single, inclusive monument, and not hundreds of existing individual commemoratives and memorials.

Poll respondents also favoured Historica Canada’s research aim of a single place where people could gather and pay their tributes to the fallen soldiers covering the time span of the First World War to the recent mission in Afghanistan.

People also stressed that education in this area should be more extensive, said Wilson-Smith.

In a report card released earlier this year Historica Canada ranked Canada’s provinces on the quality of their history instructions in their middle and high school curricula.

Four provinces and one territory earned “A” grades as compared to 2009 when four provinces were assigned an "F" and none received an "A."

89 percent of survey respondents believed that youth learn best about the historical events from the veterans’ words about their participation in the war.

Wilson-Smith pointed out that the number of veterans who participated in major conflicts like the Second World War was declining and there was an urgent need to document their experiences which could be shared widely.

Canada also does not have resources to keep alive war-time memories across generations. This however makes it mandatory that the instruction in this field should be more active.

"We have never had conflict in our lifetimes on these shores. When you go to go to a town and you see the pock-marked buildings from bullet holes from street fighting, you see the places where the bombs landed," he said. "Here there's a much more distant sense. Here we're much more reliant on actually being taught...than would be the case elsewhere where it's literally part of your upbringing."

According to the polls, 26 percent of participants planned to attend a Remembrance Day ceremony. This number decreased by six points from 2015.

73 percent and 77 percent of survey participants planned to or observe two minutes of silence or wear a poppy respectively on November 11, which is ear-marked as the Remembrance day, in the honour of the fallen soldiers.

The result of 1,004 participants surveyed by the Ipsos online poll between October 20 and October 24 reflected Canada’s adult population.

The Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, the polling industry's professional body believes that online surveys could not be wrong because sampling of population is not done randomly.

(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)

Polls indicate more Canadians support monuments to soldiers who died in modern times

India Blooms News Services
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