Women may not have been on the battlefield clashing with enemy during the worn-torn era, but their role in preserving, healing and nurturing wounded soldiers, fragmented families, and fractured nations was nothing less than sublime. Originally called Armistice Day, Canadians recognize November 11 every year at 11 a.m. It marks the end of hostilities during the First World War and a time to salute those who served to defend their nation.
Veteran war heroes are celebrated on Remembrance Day with the powerful symbol of the red poppy pinned on lapels of most Canadians. It is the principal emblem of the Royal Canadian Legion. Ceremonies are usually held at community cenotaphs and war memorials, or sometimes at schools and other public places. A two-minute silence is also observed in memory of the fallen soldiers.
It is true that traditionally men fought wars and made decisions, but none of this would have been possible without the enduring support of women in their families, who not only toiled at home, but raised funds for soldiers, knitted clothes to send to frontline, nursed the wounded and shouldered their lofty responsibilities even upon receiving news about the demise of their beloved at war. Such courage and heroism exemplifies the undying force women are born with, a force they propagate to forthcoming generations. It’s only reasonable that their contributions and sacrifices receive the admiration and acknowledgement of nations they served with their fearless attitude. It’s hard to fathom the overwhelming sense of anxiety they faced during wartime, dreading the arrival of telegrams informing them that a husband, father or son wouldn’t be coming home.
Make this Remembrance Day a day to truly remember half the population who not only ensured that home fires were kept burning, but unquestioningly allowed themselves to take on roles totally foreign to them. The adaptability of the female sex to constantly evolving circumstances in times when war clouds hovered dangerously close to home, women took on the challenge head on. Don’t forget to salute the mothers, wives, sisters and daughters for their heroic acts.
Global Asian Times commemorates Remembrance Day and pays homage to all war heroes, men and women.
Vinita Kinra is a Toronto-based author, editor, speaker and activist, best known for her short story collection, Pavitra in Paris, launched to critical acclaim in 2013. She is also a contributor for India’s largest English daily, The Times of India.