It’s Remembrance Day again.
It’s been almost a century since the First World War ended on November 11, 1918. Even the Second World War ended a lifetime ago.
But the sacrifices Canadians made back then, not just in battle but on the home front, too, made a difference for us today.
The end of World War Two was a moment that transformed our world. When it ended, Canadians were not the same people any more. They had fought. They had sacrificed. And they were sick of settling for less.
After the war, soldiers-turned-workers led some of the most important strikes ever. One of those strikes, the 1945 Ford Strike in Windsor, led to a Supreme Court ruling that laid the foundation of our labour movement. With unions growing stronger by the day, working people built much of what we love about Canada now.
Many veterans landed in the public sector, where their leadership soon made itself felt. They changed our sense of public service. They helped Canadians see how public services are key to the good life we all want. And they helped build those public services, too.
Public services redefined who we are. Public services turned “Canadian values” from an idea into something real.
That’s what our soldiers fought for all those years ago. That’s what our service men and women still fight for today.
So on this Remembrance Day, don’t forget: wear a poppy. And remember.
Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida
First Vice-President/Treasurer, Ontario Public Service Employees Union