TORONTO – This year, Remembrance Day campaigns are popping up on social media, encouraging Canadians to honour the men and women who served our country. Veterans advocates say these campaigns are important if they help youth understand the service and sacrifices of the men and women in the line of duty.
“Any messaging that encourages Canadians to remember and share is worthwhile,” said Royal Canadian Legion Dominion President Tom Eagles.
“If those messages are being seen and shared by youth, it helps educate the next generation. If those messages are coming from people these youth know, it becomes personal, which is a good thing.”
On Facebook or Twitter, for instance, users are encouraged to add an online poppy to their avatars in order to show their support.
In Montreal, the student union at Dawson College has teamed up with veterans of the Royal Montreal Regiment in hopes of instilling a bit more of the spirit of Remembrance Day in younger generations. Students are asked to take a photo with a veteran while wearing a poppy and post the image to social media using the hashtag #Poppyproud .
READ MORE: #Poppyproud encourages youth to celebrate Remembrance Day
“I think it’s so important to remind young people because so many are preoccupied by their phones, by parties, by everything else,” said Dawson College student Adam Luxenberg in an interview with Global News last week. “It’s just so important to know our history and where we came from and the people who fought for us.”
WATCH: Students at Dawson College came out in flocks to pick up their poppies and take selfies with the veterans as part of an online campaign called #PoppyProud. Global’s Aalia Adam has more.
Even government agencies are turning to social media in hopes of getting people of all ages more involved.
On Tuesday, Veterans Affairs Minister Julian Fantino asked Canadians in a video to tweet their memories and stories by using the hashtag #WhoWillYouRemember.
“As we approach Remembrance Day, I invite each and every one of you to share a memory or sentiment about someone who has served,” he said. “Who will you remember?”
READ MORE: What does the poppy mean to you? Share your stories
Eagles said social media campaigns like #WhoWillYouRemember and #Poppyproud, which encourage Canadians to wear a poppy, remind us of the meaning of Remembrance Day.
“Wearing a poppy is the expression of that understanding, and a statement of honour, thanks and remembrance,” he said.
“Social media Remembrance Day campaigns offer another way to reach and engage Canadians, in their space and on their time. The challenge is to ensure those campaigns remain respectful and in the spirit of honour and remembering.”
– with files from Aalia Adam, Global News