2013 marked the Warriors’ Day Parade 92nd year. The Warriors' Day Parade takes place in August of each year during the opening weekend of The Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The longest-running, annual parade of its type, The Warriors' Day Parade is an important Canadian tradition and a very significant event for our Veterans, our brave men and women who currently serve in Canada's military, their families and the general public. 

The Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs, attended the 92nd annual Warriors' Day Parade to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Battle of York and the 60th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice.

"The Warriors' Day Parade is an important Canadian tradition that honours our Veterans and the brave men and women in uniform who continue to serve our country today," said Minister Fantino. "Thanks to the Parade Council, Torontonians and all Canadians have been honouring our Veterans and service men and women since 1921. This year, we remember especially Canada's Veterans who served in the Korean War. It's an honour to pay tribute to their sacrifices and achievements, and to celebrate our rich military history and vibrant Canadian culture at this very important event."

I have been a follower of the Warriors’ Day Parade for some time now.  I was disappointed in the ceremony put on by the CNE for the veteran’s and their families this year.  The number one and most important thing missing this year was the national anthems.  These men and women have risked everything and lost so much for us, the allied countries.  The very least we could do is stand at attention for a couple of minutes,  showing our respect to them, our fallen troops and the countries that have given us so much.  Respect to countries is shown all the time, by standing and singing the respective anthems, prior to a sporting event.  Isn’t the celebration of our continued freedom just, if not more important?

I also noticed the veteran groups were diminished.  Missing were British Paratoopers and several other groups i have seen in the past. It was nice to finally see the Aboriginal veteran’s in the parade this year.  Maybe next year we will have more than three members. 

I overheard families of the marching veteran’s complaining on how difficult it was to get passes for the family members to come witness their loved ones march. As well, parking passes and availability was limited.

This Parade has been a historical event here in Toronto since before my grandparents were alive.  It is sad to see how little time and energy the CNE awards it now.  Maybe this was just a bad year for the CNE; maybe next year will be better.  I truly hope so.  We are fast saying goodbye to so many valiant defenders of our free world.  Come on CNE, let’s show them how much we care.  Give our lost and fallen the respect they deserve.

 


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