2018 Day of Mourning
Why doesn’t the general population know the meaning
As flowers were laid at the foot of the Workers Memorial Cenotaph at Thunderbird Plaza in Abbotsford BC, I felt a tear roll down my face. Yet I was even more saddened in the knowledge that the vast majority of our population have absolutely no idea what Day of Mourning is. The puzzled look and blank expression on peoples faces when I ask if they know the significance of April 28th amazes me. What’s really disturbing is these people I ask are workers in all walks of life. A drastic change is needed.
On this date in 2018 the Day of Mourning ceremonies were held on vitreous days from the 27th to the 29th. The powers to be would never do that for Remembrance Day ceremonies. Are workers worth less? Most certainly not. We are all to blame. Some more then others. One of the reasons I have noticed for the lack of awareness and significance of Day of Mourning is the media. Coverage of the ceremonies is lucky to get a minute or two at the end of the evening news. Maybe it’s because it just doesn’t sell enough for the media to cover it. The workers who have died due to their occupations deserve better than that.
Since 1993 over 22,000 workers in Canada alone have paid the ultimate price due to their occupations. In 2016 Canadians filed 241,508 workplace injury claims. This years Day of Mourning statistics for 2017 listed 158 worker fatalities in British Columbia alone. This number has increased from 2016 which had 144 worker fatalities. WorkSafe BC states between the years 2013 to 2017 British Columbians lost 729 workers. These are members of people’s families. Moms and dads, brothers and sisters, somebody’s child, yet our communities never hear about it.
What can we do
Day of Mourning Ceremonies should be pre-advertised on every form of media available such as Remembrance Day is. Now some may there is a big difference. However, I would dispute that. What a soldier and veterans are to war, protection and freedom, workers are to peace, economic service and life. For without the working class and what are respective occupations accomplish, the planet would stop functioning. Just imaging if that construction worker didn’t exist to build your house, truck drivers to deliver food to the stores, or how about the farmers who grow the food we need to exist. Most of the human species would cease to exist.
So, what’s the answer? It’s very simple. More resources need to be allocated for media campaigns and general advertisements. Day of Mourning needs to be just as recognizable as Remembrance Day, Labour Day and every other important day commonly known amongst the general population. I would even campaign for it to be a national legal holiday.