Skip to content

Column: Learning to remember

Bruce Campbell
Bruce Campbell, Okotoks Western Wheel editor

Today is a day I will wear black pants, a nice shirt with a poppy and reflect.

Sure, I will be at the office as Remembrance Day services have been rightfully curtailed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

(Fortunately, Western Wheel photographer Brent Calver will be there to cover the small livestreamed service at the RPAC).

But I will take the 45 minutes or an hour of the day to watch the ceremony (if I can figure out the livestream).

It certainly wasn’t always the case that I would attend a Remembrance Day service – as I would just brush it off as another day off school or work.

That was besides the fact my grandfather lost an arm in the First World War in Europe, ridiculously I am not sure where, I think France.  He later went from someone with a Grade 5 education to a doctor in botany thanks to the famed U.S. GI Bill.

I was able to learn as I get older.

Being born in 1959, I am of a generation that was largely not touched by war. Sure, there were a few clips of Vietnam but that was about it.

However, as Canada became involved in Rwanda, Somalia, Bosnia, Afghanistan and others, I became aware of the sacrifices women and men were making – and have made — for this country.

My feelings for Remembrance Day became amplified when I became a community newspaper reporter and have seen dozens of respectable, full-house ceremonies on Nov. 11 in smaller centres.

That feeling remains despite things being scaled down in 2020.

Bruce Campbell

About the Author: Bruce Campbell

Bruce Campbell is the editor for and the Western Wheel newspaper. He is a graduate of Mount Royal College journalism program, 1991. For story tips contact
Read more