Wednesday, November 11, 2020 | Category: Eduvation Insider
It’s Remembrance Day, on which we pause to remember the sacrifices of those who have devoted themselves to military service, often putting their lives on the line or making the ultimate sacrifice. (Our US neighbours call it Veteran’s Day.) This year in particular marks the 75th anniversary of the end of WWII.
Most of you are probably observing a holiday today in fact – except for readers in Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and Manitoba (although it seems to be a half-day retail holiday there too). So I’ll hold off on the pandemic updates one more day…
Today was originally called Armistice Day, recognizing the ceasefire that (gradually) took effect on this day in 1918 – and the demobilization of soldiers that turned the Spanish flu into a worldwide pandemic. This year our experiences – of isolation, quarantine, anxiety, retail shortages, financial hardship – have an astonishing amount in common with our predecessors’ a century ago. We can only hope that Monday’s vaccine announcement signals the eventual surrender of the coronavirus too. (As Anthony Fauci recently told the AMA Journal, probably towards the end of 2022.)
If the Spanish Flu pandemic had occurred within living memory, we doubtless would have been better prepared for COVID19, and we would see fewer covidiots out protesting mask requirements today.
Lest we forget…
Faded letters from WWI contain “haunting similarities to today” as soldiers wrote home about the Spanish Flu, or “grippe.” Jacqueline Carmichael devoted a whole chapter of her recent book, Heard Amid the Guns: True Stories from the Western Front, 1914-1918, to the parallels between the 2 pandemics. “100 years ago, our forebears were dealing with this very thing.” Some texts suggest 776 Canadian soldiers died of the flu – but the number was likely much higher than that. As soldiers returned home by train, the disease travelled with them. The federal Department of Health was established in 1919, largely in response to the Spanish flu pandemic. National Post
“Armistice was a super-spreader event, because these people were so crowded and then, of course, once they started going home, they were crowded into troop ships, which exposed them further.” – Jacqueline Carmichael, National Post
Remembering Canadians in uniform should start with our students. Two CdnPSEs have recently announced streamlined PLAR and specialized supports for members of the armed forces to transition into study, or study while on active duty…
Brandon U signed an agreement earlier this month to make courses and degrees more accessible to members of the Canadian Forces, even when deployed overseas, through a streamlined PLAR process, and flexibility to write exams while deployed. “Their knowledge is worthy of serious consideration, their skills are real and vital, and appropriate to recognize — especially this close to Remembrance Day.” (BU says this may be the first university-level agreement of its type in Canada. A few colleges have made similar arrangements.) Brandon
Fanshawe College announced its status as a “military-connected campus” back in February (before the pandemic), but added more detail on Monday, with advanced standing for military leadership experience, specialized financial and other supports for members, veterans, and their families, and accommodations for military deployments. The College will present a new coin to military-connected grads as a symbol of honour for their service. Fanshawe president Peter Devlin is a former lieutenant-general who served in Bosnia, Iraq, and Afghanistan. London Free Press
“Oftentimes, military-connected people, they’re moving from a collectivist type of culture where military members are very, very connected to each other regardless of where they are in Canada or the world, and when they enter post-secondary, it becomes an individualistic type of culture where they’re focused on their goals of education.” – Darlene O’Neill, Director of Employment & Student Entrepreneurial Services, Fanshawe College
Remembrance Day engages historians, documentary filmmakers, and researchers to help bring the past into the present, and shape a better future…
Carleton U hosted Tim Cook, a former grad supervisor in the History dept and now historian at the Canadian War Museum, whose new book is The Fight for History: 75 Years of Forgetting, Remembering, and Remaking Canada’s Second World War. He speaks with student journalists in a 23-min interview for The Charlatan.
Dalhousie U shared the stories of 5 Dalhousians who served, and in some cases gave their lives, in WWI. Dal
Mount St Vincent U has 2 researchers whose work seeks to inform the experiences of veterans and military families. Maya Eichler is director of the Centre for Social Innovation and Community Engagement in Military Affairs at MSVU, and researches issues of gender, sexual violence, and veterans policy. Family Studies prof Deborah Norris researches the challenges faced by military families and spouses, and helped shape the Halifax Military Family Resource Centre. MSVU
U New Brunswick promoted stories on its social media channels this week to mark the many contributions by UNB’s diverse community through their services and sacrifices in wartime and beyond. This year, “UNB Remembers” moved to an online format, Nov 10-13. UNB
Vancouver Island U published a 51-min memorial video last year for the Nanaimo soldiers who gave their lives in WWI and WWII.
“We have a saying in the military that the nature of war does not change. I think, arguably, the same can well be said for remembrance. It is essentially a struggle to come to grips with the reality of loss and how to pay tribute to those who lost their lives.” – Captain Christopher Lardner,UNB Grad
A day of remembrance naturally connects with campus libraries and archives, which are “the official memory of the university”…
uCalgary retired librarian Saundra Lipton began research around 2011 that has now led to “She Also Serves,” a website documenting stories of 36 Jewish women in the Canadian Armed Forces. “What bothered me was, that when I could find these women’s obituaries, very often there was no mention of their service.” “In a world where antisemitism is again raising its ugly head, I think it’s important for us to remember and celebrate those contributions.” uCalgary
Centennial College Library prepared a LibGuide with eBooks, Books, and videos about Remembrance Day, including a reading of a translation of “In Flanders Fields” into Mi’kmaq, and Forgotten Warriors, a documentary about thousands of Indigenous Canadians who fought in WWII. Centennial
Mount Allison U libraries prepared a LibGuide / presentation with the names and photos of the Fallen of WWI. MtA
Saint Mary’s U Archives and Institutional Repository houses photos and yearbooks from the WWII era, and essays and academic work related to war and peacekeeping. “The University Archives is the official memory of the University.” SMU
Sault College’s Ron Doyle Library published a LibGuide of books, ebooks, digital resources and websites related to Remembrance Day. Sault
Colleges and universities across Canada are finding ways to mark Remembrance Day, even though gatherings are out of the question. Here’s what I spotted yesterday (mostly announcing ceremonies for 10:45-11:15am today)…
uAlberta lowered the national, provincial and university flags to half-mast Nov 10-11. uAlberta
Brescia UC’s director of campus ministry will be chaplain at the London Cenotaph ceremony, broadcast live on local media. Brescia
Centennial College will host its first unified virtual event, pre-taped with students in Journalism, Story Arts and Paramedic programs, on Zoom. Centennial
Huron UC will livestream a ceremony from its chapel, including the Huron Choir, on YouTube.
King’s UC will hold a virtual service via YouTube and Facebook. King’s
McMaster U’s Alumni Association will hold its service virtually via Zoom. McMaster
uRegina lowered the Canadian flag to half-mast, lit its campus sign in red for the week, promoted the Royal Canadian Legion’s digital poppy campaign, and will host a wreath ceremony at the UofR cenotaph. uRegina
Royal Roads U will hold its annual ceremony online via Vimeo Livestream, with president Philip Steenkamp and the Vancouver Island Ex-Cadet Club. “We honour with gratitude Canada’s soldiers, sailors and aviators who have served in conflict. We especially remember those who trained at Royal Roads when it was a military college, and who gave the ultimate sacrifice.” RRU
Seneca College will livestream a ceremony from their cenotaph. Seneca
Sheridan College will livestream a ceremony on their YouTube channel, “The ceremony will remain online #LestWeForget.” YouTube
Western U’s Students’ Council is hosting a virtual ceremony live via Zoom. UWO
Wilfrid Laurier U’s History Students’ Association will lead a virtual ceremony on Zoom. WLU
York U is holding an in-person and pre-recorded ceremony that will be livestreamed on YouTube and a dedicated webpage. York
If you haven’t already done so, the Legion’s digital poppy campaign offers digital poppy badges that can even be customized in memory of a Canadian hero.
I hope you have a peaceful Remembrance Day. Stay safe and be well – and tomorrow I’ll finally get back to the pandemic updates, I promise!
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