November 11 may be a day off work for many of us, but it is not a holiday.
Remembrance Day is a solemn occasion to admire, respect and honour those who sacrificed their lives for their country and the cause of freedom in the world. most of us understand that, but some do not.
Among those who do not seem to get it is Eddie Bauer, a major international clothing retailer that has been advertising a week-long "Remembrance Day" sale, drawing the ire of veterans, the Royal Canadian Legion, and many more Canadians, and rightfully so. The only clothing item that should be sold in relation to Remembrance Day is the poppy we wear over our hearts.
In defence of Eddie Bauer, an American outlet, they are not alone in coinciding fall retail promotions with Veterans Day in their home country, and the promotions seem to be successful there without ruffling feathers.
That is not to say Americans do not respect their war dead. In fact, they have two national holidays that do this - Memorial Day in May and Veterans Day in November. They just don't seem to let it interfere with capitalism.
Canadians should not accuse Americans of disrespecting veterans, but should just recognize that this is a cultural divide between the two countries. No, we shouldn't accept retail promotions to take advantage of Remembrance Day, and Eddie Bauer is certain to get that message.
What Canadians need to do is take their "day off" and think about the veterans from their own communities who made the supreme sacrifice, and get out to their cenotaph on Nov. 11 to pay their respects.
We will remember them.