CULTURE

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Remembrance Day in Canada

BY

Canadians commemorate the end of the First World War each year on November 11th. The commemoration takes the form of wearing poppies, and attending small gatherings in cities or towns to take part in the moment of silence, and listen to speakers as well as bands present. The holiday has been recognized for over 100 years and will continue on. Each year Canadians will pay their respects to the brave men and women who put their lives on the line to protect Canada and ensure we could live peacefully.

What is Remembrance Day?

Remembrance Day is a national holiday that is recognized across Canada. It is also recognized beyond Canada, in countries that are considered Commonwealth states. All of the countries that commemorate Remembrance Day were involved militarily in the First World War. As such, the day serves as a time to commemorate and honour all of the members of the armed forces that lost their lives during the First World War.

Importantly, November 11th is the chosen day for this commemoration since it is the day the First World War ended, back in 1918. In fact, the war was declared over at 11am, as well. The day has been important for remembrance and commemoration since the first year following the end of the First World War and will continue to remain important to Canadians and other Commonwealth countries.

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Stachiew, M. (2014). Photos: The Battle of Vimy Ridge. Retrieved from http://ww1.canada.com/battlefront/images-the-battle-of-vimy-ridge

How is it Recognized Across Canada?

Before the official events take place on Remembrance Day, many Canadians begin their remembrance by purchasing a poppy and placing it on their jacket. The poppy is an important symbol in relation to Remembrance Day; poppies are the type of flower that grew on the fields in France after the end of the First World War. This is described in the famous poem In Flanders Fields by John McCrae.

Cities and towns across the country recognize Remembrance Day each year. Most cities and towns will have one or more planned gatherings; at these gatherings, activities will include speeches, poems, candle lighting, and notably, a moment of silence. The moment of silence will always occur at 11am sharp, as that is the time the war was declared over back in 1918. The moment usually lasts about 2 minutes and is a time for silence and reflection on the sacrifice of the Canadian armed forces.

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Trudeau, J. (2019). Statement by the Prime Minister on Remembrance Day. Retrieved from https://pm.gc.ca/en/news/statements/2019/11/11/statement-prime-minister-remembrance-day

Canadians and other Commonwealth countries have been recognizing Remembrance Day since November 11th, 1919, a year after the First World War. This holiday is a time to pay respects and recognize the sacrifice of the Canadian armed forces during the war; these brave men and women put their lives on the line to ensure we could live in peace today in Canada, and for that Canadians are ever-grateful. The commemoration will continue every year, and will always occur on November 11th.

For more information on Remembrance Day: The Royal Canadian Legion

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