Remembrance Day serves as an important reminder for reflection, gratitude, and solidarity for those who served, or currently serve in the armed forces. The specific traditions and services held on Remembrance Day vary based on country, but the message of honoring and remembering those who served and sacrificed is universal.
What is Remembrance Day in Canada?
Remembrance Day is a federal statutory holiday throughout Canada. Yearly on November 11th, Canadians take a moment of silence to honour those who served, and continue to serve in Canada’s army. The day is typically marked on November 11th to pay tribute to the armistice that ended the fighting of World War I, which occurred at the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month in 1918. A service and ceremony hosted by the Government and Canadian armed forces is broadcasted throughout the country. Also each province hosts their own specific services and parades that individuals can participate in.
Does Remembrance Day Exist in Other Countries?
- Remembrance Sunday is celebrated in the United Kingdom, on the second Sunday of November. Remembrance Sunday is a holiday that honors British soldiers who fought in World War I, or other recent conflicts. A two-minute moment of silence is also observed, at 11 AM, with various nation-wide parades, ceremonies, and services held.
- The United States celebrates a similar holiday, Veterans Day, on November 11th. This holiday honors United States military veterans who served in the United States Armed Forces. Various ceremonies, parades, and services are also held, as well as a moment of silence at 11AM to honour the armistice of World War I.
Why is the Poppy the Common Symbol of Remembrance Day?
The red poppy is a common symbol of Canadian Remembrance Day. This tradition was influenced by the famous poem “In Flanders Fields” by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae. This poem reflected on the poppies that bloomed amidst the graves of soldiers in Flanders, Belgium during World War I.
How Can You Participate in Remembrance Day in Vancouver?
- Take a moment of silence – this Saturday (November 11th), at 11:11am, take a moment of silence to honour those who served, and currently serve for Canada’s army. Reflect, have gratitude, and educate others.
- TransLink is offering free transit rides for veterans on Remembrance Day. Members of the Royal Canadian Legion will also be found at transit hubs around the Greater Vancouver Area handing out poppies (by donation). Read more: TransLink
- A Remembrance Day ceremony will be offered at Victory Square, taking place at the Cenotaph (200 West Hastings Street, between Cambie Street and Hamilton). This ceremony can be watched live, but will also be broadcasted from 10:00-12:00. After 12:00, the Vancouver Remembrance Day Parade will begin. Learn more about both of these events here: Vancouver on Remembrance Day