A man touches the helmet on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier after laying a poppy following the National Remembrance Day Ceremony at the National War Memorial in Ottawa on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang)

Younger Canadians interested in attending Remembrance Day events: poll

Survey found a 10% spike in people who plan to go to a ceremony this year compared to 2017

Canadians of all generations are more likely to honour military veterans by attending a Remembrance Day ceremony this year, a new survey suggests.

A poll commissioned by Historica Canada, the organization behind the popular Heritage Minutes videos, found a 10-per-cent spike in the number of respondents who planned to take part in a ceremony this year compared to 2017.

The online poll, conducted by Ipsos, found 39 per cent of those surveyed had firm plans to attend a ceremony on Nov. 11 compared to 29 per cent the year before.

The survey found plans were relatively consistent across demographics, with millennial respondents expressing the most consistent enthusiasm for attending Remembrance Day events. It found 41 per cent of 18- to 34-year-olds polled planned to attend, compared to 40 per cent of respondents over 55 and 38 per cent of participants between 35 and 54.

RELATED: Remembering northern B.C.’s Flying Tigers

Historica CEO Anthony Wilson-Smith called the findings around millennials gratifying, saying the poll results challenge the theory that the generation with the fewest tangible connections to the two World Wars would be most likely to ignore Remembrance Day.

“We are now at a point where we have to contemplate that the day will come when there aren’t any more World War Two veterans,” Wilson-Smith said in a telephone interview.

“That leaves you to wonder if, when everyone is gone, will people still be able to grasp the significance of war, of sacrifice, of the causes that drove people to war, and the outcomes,” he said.

“The answer would appear to be yes.”

Wilson-Smith speculated that at least part of the surge in interest in Remembrance Day ceremonies stems from the fact that this year’s events will mark the 100th anniversary of the armistice that brought the First World War to an end after four years of strife.

But he said the younger generation’s apparent connection to the day may also come from personal ties to those who served in more recent conflicts, such as the war in Afghanistan in which 158 Canadian soldiers and two civilians were killed.

The poll found 95 per cent of those surveyed felt Remembrance Day ceremonies should honour veterans of recent conflicts. It also found 83 per cent of respondents planned to wear a poppy in the run-up to Nov. 11, with baby boomers showing the most enthusiasm for that idea.

The online poll of 1,002 Canadians also surveyed how many respondents had visited a cenotaph or other war memorial in their community or elsewhere.

Participants in B.C. were most likely to have done so, the survey found, noting the provincial response rate of 64 per cent was well above the national average of 46 per cent.

The Ipsos survey was conducted between Oct. 25 and Oct. 29, Historica said.

Michelle McQuigge, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Three new buses on the way for Fraser-Cascade School District

A change to funding from the ministry will allow the district to purchase three replacement buses

Kent honours late CAO with tree planting

Tony Lewis passed away in 2007, seven months before his retirement from the position

Judge questions joint submission for Chilliwack man who sexually assaulted girl

Crown, defence ordered to find case law to back up one-year sentencing for Andrew Mullaly

School trip tragedy leaves Hope mourning the loss of one of their own

Long-time resident, Sandra Loring, passed away while chaperoning a European school trip

Fraser Health reminds parents to get their kids fully vaccinated against measles

Health authority will send letters home to parents with catch-up program information

Harrison Mills band holding contest to decide name

The local cover band will be announcing the winner at a concert on May 3

‘B.C. cannot wait for action’: Top doctor urges province to decriminalize illicit drugs

Dr. Bonnie Henry says current approach in ‘war on drugs’ has criminalized and stigmatized drug users

B.C. woman, 76, challenges alcohol-screening laws after failing to give breath sample

Norma McLeod was unable to provide a sample because of her medical conditions

New report on 2017 wildfires calls for better coordination with B.C. First Nations

Tsilhqot’in National Government documents 2017 disaster and lists 33 calls to action

B.C. youth coach banned amid sexual harassment, bullying scandal: Water Polo Canada

Justin Mitchell can’t take part in Water Polo Canada events or clubs

Wilson-Raybould: Feds want to just ‘manage the problem’ of Indigenous Peoples

Former federal justice minister speaks at First Nations Justice Council meeting in B.C.

Female real estate agents warned of suspicious man in Metro Vancouver

The man requests to see homes alone with the female agent, police say

COLUMN: Keep your camping coordinates a secret this season

‘There are simply too many people in the back country,’ says Progress reporter

Most Read