I saw that a store my wife and I shop at was opening at 11 am, on Remembrance Day, and this brought me great sadness.
Over the ensuing weeks, I continued to struggle with this, to the point I was going to “call them out” on Twitter…
But then I realized, that this was cyber-bullying.
I vented my frustration in a tweet, and drew a visceral and immediate response, which prompted me to write this letter to the store’s owner:
My name is Bob Gray, and for many years I managed a store.
I saw a while ago, that you are opening YOUR store, at 11 am on Remembrance Day, and I have bit my tongue and held my thoughts… but as we draw closer to the 11th of November, I find that I can’t let it go.
I don’t believe the day is about war mongering or flag waving… just about respecting those who made sacrifices, to protect us and our freedoms.
In retail, sadly there are few days that are “off limits.”
Indeed, in Ontario and some other provinces, Remembrance Day is not even a statutory holiday.
However, in my opinion, it is important that the Eleventh Hour of the Eleventh Day of the Eleventh Month is put aside to show respect to the Armed Forces who have served to protect us and our way of life, and to honour those who have fallen in battle.
I would suggest that if you were to open at Noon, you would finish the day with the same amount of sales, without disenfranchising those who wish to observe the Remembrance Day services.
I rarely write letters like this, because if a store does something I don’t like, I choose not to shop there. I “vote” with my dollars.
But, my wife and I really like your store, so I thought I would share my thoughts, so that in the future, you might find it in your heart to consider the observance of Remembrance Day and the significance of the 11 am hour, and consider opening at noon, if you have to open.
Thank you for your consideration.
Whether you go to a Remembrance Day ceremony, watch it on TV, or observe it just by wearing a poppy, I hope that at 11 am, everyone will take a moment to reflect on the sacrifices of the many people who selflessly gave up what they treasured.
I received a reply from the Store’s owner, and it includes the following:
…The last thing I want to do is appear insensitive to anyone, let alone my customers. I’m realizing, though, that this might be an unintended by-product of my decision to open at 11am on Nov 11. I realize should have opened at Noon. It was an oversight, plain and simple.
I really do appreciate you taking the time to let me know your thoughts. I do not take them lightly. I will post a special note on my Social Media sites and website talking about this. If I decide to stay open on November 11 next year, I will open at Noon. Tomorrow’s class is scheduled to start at 11am. Before that happens, I will hold a minute of silence to honour those who have given their lives to protect our freedom.