For Canadians, Remembrance Day means honouring those who fought for our freedom — and for newcomers to the country, it’s no different.
In recognition of Veterans Week, the Regina Royal Canadian Legion hosted a few groups of newcomers from the Open Door Society to teach them about Nov. 11 and the significance of wearing a poppy.
“The newcomers seem to be quite impressed with what they saw and what they heard,” said Legion volunteer Mack Hawat.
He added they also learned that other newcomers have fought for our country just like Canadian-born soldiers.
“I think it helps today’s newcomers to know that those who came before them have adopted Canada so much as their own that they’ve gone forward in defence of our country and our future,” Hawat said.
Mousa Algarad was a part of one group that toured the Legion museum.
“Don’t forget the soldiers who have died, don’t forget that day,” Algarad said when asked about what he learned.
Coming to Canada as a refugee from Syria with his wife and seven kids last year, Algarad added he feels thankful.
“I feel happy for my children to live and be safe here in Canada,” he said. “Canada’s a free country, a democratic country and there’s nice people in Canada.”
Those feelings were echoed by Henian Li, who immigrated to Regina from China in 2013.
After living in Canada for more than three years, Li said he’s most grateful for a democratic society.
“You can do anything you want and you can speak whatever you want … you can do any job,” explained Li, adding he’s switched from being an engineer to opening up his own ice cream shop in the city.
After their museum tour and history lesson, each newcomer received a poppy to pin above their heart — like every other Canadian — as a silent thank you to those who sacrificed their lives so we could be free.