Gov. Gen. Julie Payette, right, places a wreath with her son, Laurier Payette-Flynn, during Remembrance Day ceremonies at the National War Memorial in Ottawa last year. A new poll shows more Canadians are likely to attend ceremonies this year as attendance continues to increase across the country. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

Remembrance Day ceremonies likely to see another increase this year

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More and more Canadians are attending Remembrance Day ceremonies every year and it appears this coming Monday, Nov. 11, will be no different.

A new survey suggests that more than 41 per cent of Canadians plan to attend ceremonies honouring fallen service members on Monday.

Peter Weal, a retired army captain, salutes as he participates in Remembrance Day ceremonies at the Grand Parade in Halifax last year. (Andrew Vaughan/Canadian Press)

That’s an increase of two per cent from last year and 14 per cent from 2016.

The online survey, conducted by Ipsos and commissioned by Historica Canada, also indicates that 88 per cent of Canadians believe it is important to attend such events while Second World War veterans are still alive.

People lay poppies on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier following the National Remembrance Day Ceremony at the National War Memorial in Ottawa in 2017. Attendance at Remembrance Day ceremonies has increased by 14 per cent since 2016. (Justin Tang/Canadian Press)

“We’re aware now that even the youngest of those who served in World War ll–75, 76 years ago–are now in their mid-90s. The number of those who served, who used to be so common in every community, is really diminishing, ” Historica CEO Anthony Wilson-Smith told the Canadian Press news agency.

“The day is coming soon when they won’t be with us, and I think Canadians collectively feel that this is our time to say thank you.”

Members of the armed forces salute during last year’s Remembrance Day ceremony in Montreal. (Graham Hughes/Candian Press)

The online poll also found that 94 per cent of Canadians believe that hearing veterans speak about their experiences is the best way for young people to understand conflict, with some 80 per cent of Canadians saying they had heard a veteran tell their story.

According to Veterans Affairs Canada, more than 45,000 gave their lives and another 55,000 were wounded during the Second World War.

With files from CP, CBC, Montreal Gazette

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