Legacy and Relevance to Today’s Youth
More than 600,000 Canadians enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) and the Newfoundland Regiment in the First World War. Many thousands more served in the Royal Canadian Navy, in other forces such as the Royal Flying Corps (RFC), the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS), in the merchant marine and in support organizations. Almost every Canadian family was impacted by the war in a major way.
Members of the Canadian military, related organizations and civilians have also served our country and its citizens in many other wars and conflicts.
While many monuments have been built to commemorate their service, the principle legacy of their courage, bravery and sacrifice lives on through the stories of their experiences before, during and after these wars.
So, what relevance do these stories have for young women and men living today?
We hope and pray that you will never have to experience a major conflict or war and the almost unimaginable hardships encountered by young people who were very much like you. But, there is no way of knowing what the future will bring and there will surely be times in your personal, community and working lives when you will be faced with very difficult situations—situations where you may doubt your ability to succeed.
If you learn and absorb the stories of the hardships faced, and the sacrifices made, in conflicts and wars by young people who were the same age or slightly older than you, then, when a situation arises where you have to gather all your strength, courage, determination and will to do the right thing …
you will remember them …
and that memory will inspire you and help you prevail.
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