This Friday, November 11th, 2022, we take a back seat in life and reflect on the fallen ones who served in the Armed Forces from World War I onward.
Every country that was affected by world conflict is no different. Every country that was involved (Allied Nations) in World War I, World War II, and the Korean War most notably, had an immense death toll in its respective counties’ population.
Some 15-year-old kids would lie about their age to enlist. They were daughters who became medical nurses in makeshift triages that were often bombarded by shells. They were your aunts, uncles, fathers, mothers, friends, sons, and daughters that made the ultimate sacrifice.
World War 1 was said to be the war to end all wars. But that was not the case.
So, on the 11th day, of the 11th month, and the 11th hour, we give more than a moment of silence.
IN FLANDERS FIELDS
In Flanders Fields, the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
The most famous poem in Canada was written by Canadian soldier John McCrae.
WORLD WAR 1 YEARS of 1914 to 1918
With the Grey Cup awarded in 1915, this would be the last during a time when an abundance of young men and women enlisted in the Canadian Military and under the British Government.
With that said, as a great number of citizens went for training and began heading overseas, Canadian football took a back seat. Add in the Spanish Influenza that occurred simultaneously, it became a recipe for disaster.
There would be no football in 1916, 1917, 1918, and 1919, only to finally return for the 1920 season.
WORLD WAR 2 YEARS of 1939 to 1945
Unlike suspending the football seasons from World War 1, the opposite was approached during World War 2 years.
A lot of decisions were made where once again it would be a shortage of talent across the board. With that said, building hope and keeping people’s spirits alive took precedence amongst the Canadian general public. The National Hockey League (NHL) was no different. Many of their stars would enlist and put a pause on the their current profession. And Canadian football was no different.
With a shortage of talent, new football clubs were formed by the use of the Canadian Military. Military teams were formed to have more competitive seasons, and most importantly, fill in voids in roster numbers.
Teams like the St. Hyacinthe–Donnacona Navy based out of Montreal, Quebec. They would in the Grey Cup in 1944 defeating the Hamilton Flying Wild Cats 7-6.
In 1942, it was an all Canadian Military affair with the Toronto Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) Hurricanes vs the Winnipeg (RCAF) Bombers. Toronto would defeat Winnipeg 8-5 to claim the 1942 Grey Cup.
PLAY FOR THE VETERANS THIS SUNDAY
For the players that will square off against each other this Sunday, November 13th, 2022, with a shot of going to the Grey Cup; keep the past veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice in your thoughts prior to taking the field.
You have a special gifted talent. Play for your family that got you here, and play this game for the veterans.
Lest we forget.