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

Longtime Shuswap school bus driver takes one last ride

Kathy Keam drove students on the same bus route for 38 years

Dogs called heroes in Blind Bay residential blaze

Homeonwers safe but one pet missing, another confirmed dead following fire

Semi in ditch slows Highway 97 traffic north of Vernon

The accident occurred near Irish Creek Road Thursday, Jan. 17

Freezing rain, some snow forecasted for Okanagan-Similkameen-Shuswap

Environment Canada forecasting freezing rain and snow for much of the region

Salmon Arm youth eyes national event in meeting with Justin Trudeau

Friendship Day founder Brody Paton shares vision for national event with prime minister

B.C. opioid crisis to get same world-renowned treatment approach as HIV/AIDS

A program that focuses on treatment as prevention will roll out Jan. 17

Canada’s arrest of Huawei exec an act of ‘backstabbing,’ Chinese ambassador says

China has called Canada’s arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou ‘politically motivated’

Remorse high for Vernon man sentenced for car surfing death

Driver of car that killed friend who was car surfing gets nine months in jail

Shuswap curlers hit the ice in Salmon Arm Curling Club’s Stick Bonspiel

Annual event enters 12th year, sees 24 teams enter

Two Silverbacks’ alumni nominated for Hobey Baker Memorial Award

Taro Hirose and Chase Priskie in the running for prestigious varsity award

In limbo: Leftover embryos challenge clinics, couples

Some are outright abandoned by people who quit paying storage fees and other couples struggle with tough decisions

BREAKING: Jury finds man accused of killing B.C. girl, 12, guilty

Twelve-year-old Monica Jack disappeared in May 1978 while riding her bike along a highway in Merritt, B.C.

AC/DC tribute ready to rock Okanagan

Vernon, Kelowna and Penticton stops on LA Bonfire tour

B.C. government extends coastal log export rules for six months

Premier John Horgan promises reform at loggers’ convention

Most Read