Remembrance Day

Resident concerned that the farmers market held a special event Nov. 11

On Nov. 11, I was reading the paper and I got to the letters to the editor. One letter, Reconsider the date, is by Julie Funfer. I couldn’t believe it, the Vernon Farmers Market chose this day of all days to set up shop.

I hear this is not the first year they decided to cash in on a national holiday of remembrance.

That is what upsets me. As a son of a veteran, this day has special meaning for me and many other people whether or not they had loved ones in the service.

Before we went to the service at Kal Tire Place, I sent an e-mail to the Vernon Farmers Market, the mayor and councillors. The response I got from the farmers market was shocking to say the least. I guess I hit a nerve. Maybe I shouldn’t have used the word disgusting about how I felt what they were doing. And maybe I shouldn’t have said I hope they get the boot from Kal Tire Place.

But for the market to attach a link about the history of Remembrance Day for me to read, now that is disgusting. They jumped to the conclusion that my e-mail was more to do with the referendum for the second sheet of ice.

Well, I have never gone to a Vipers hockey game, just not my thing. We went and watched curling there and that was good. I have gone to the farmers market and my wife goes all of the time.

The point I was trying to make to the farmers market and mayor and council was this day is a national day of remembrance. Have we as a society become so commercialized that a day to honour veterans is now a day to exploit for profit?

I realize that other stores are open and as the mayor said, “They don’t stop and have two minutes of silence.” I wouldn’t know that but then they aren’t set up on public property either. What I do know is my wife and I were at the service for more than two hours. We were entertained by the community band, a great singing group and young children who have thought and care enough about the veterans to write poems and read them to us. The crowd, I believe, was the largest ever.

We overheard people sitting near us who had never been to this service before and they commented on how nice it was for the veterans. When they came marching in, it was sad to see how few veterans there are left. They had many standing ovations deservedly so.

The farmers market’s two minutes of silence, which was “quite moving to see life come to a complete standstill,” isn’t really the same, I’m sorry.

Our veterans did see life come to a complete standstill. That is moving.

My dad fought overseas from 1941 to 1945 and my uncle Harold was killed off of the coast of Italy July 5, 1943. I now have the Silver Cross given to my grandmother, who always believed he would come home because his body wasn’t recovered when the ship he was on was hit by torpedoes. My dad didn’t talk about the war. That’s the way it was back when I was growing up. But he did teach us kids to remember and to respect the people who went off to war.

I don’t need a link to read about the history of Remembrance Day.

I can hold war memorabilia in my hand every day and know what the true meaning of what that day is about.

We might “owe our very existence” to farmers as the manager of the farmers market said. The funny thing, I grew up on a farm. My dad left the family farm in Saskatchewan to go to war. Farmers grow food, at least we did.

Had the market waited until noon to open, I probably wouldn’t have written the e-mails. But I do thank Julie for her letter to the editor. Somebody has to stand up for the veterans.

It’s just a poor choice of a day to have a farmers market. It’s too bad the city went along with it. It makes you wonder who’s running city hall. We will remember them.

Cal Pedersen

Vernon

 

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