Remembrance Day is observed every 11 November to honour the sacrifices of members of the Canadian military. It is an opportunity for Canadian citizens to reflect on the sacrifices of Canadian servicemen in the First World War and other conflicts.
|Year||Date||Day||Holiday||Provinces and Territories|
|2019||11 Nov||Mon||Remembrance Day||National except MB, NS,|
ON & QC
|2020||11 Nov||Wed||Remembrance Day||National except MB, NS,|
ON & QC
This is a very solemn memorial holiday that serves as a reminder of the horrors of war. Remembrance Day is observed on November 11 each year. This is also the day of Armistice, the end of the First World War. Canadian citizens often show their respect for members of the military by attending various Remembrance Day ceremonies.
Ways to Observe Remembrance Day
Poppy Flowers: Wearing a poppy flower is one of the most popular ways to show support for veterans on Remembrance Day. According to tradition, the poppy is worn because it is a native flower of the area of France where the most intense fighting of the First World War occurred. Like the soldiers who perished, the poppy is extremely resilient, but it is also quite delicate.
Ceremonies: People of all ages are expected to attend a Remembrance Day ceremony that honors fallen servicemen and veterans. These ceremonies are often led by speakers of public importance. Some national ceremonies are also broadcast via radio and television. These ceremonies often have patriotic themes through flag hoisting and music.
Showing Gratitude: Canadians often use Remembrance Day to show respect for veterans. Students may write letters of gratitude to servicemen or attend patriotic lectures. Some people demonstrate their appreciation by sending care packages full of food, electronics, and luxury items to troops who are stationed overseas.
To understood the full importance of Remembrance Day, you must know about Canada’s involvement in 20th century wars. A large number of Canadian servicemen perished due to their involvement in intense conflicts.
First World War: After the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in 1914, Britain declared war on the German Empire and the Axis Powers. Because Canada was subservient to Britain at this time, Canada was also forced to enter the First World War. During the first few years of the First World War, the Canadian Expeditionary Force experienced major victories.
Some of Canada’s most successful battles were Somme, Vimy, and Passchendaele. Depsite these strategic accomplishments, Canada suffered many casualties. By the time the war ended on November 11, 1918, 59,544 Canadians were killed. In addition to these deaths, 154,361 servicemen were wounded. The First World War continued to take a psychological toll on veterans when they returned to Canada.
Second World War: Due to the major losses of Canadian life caused by the First World War, many Canadians did not want to enter the Second World War. Despite this, Canadian leaders understood the threat posed by Hitler’s fascist regime in Europe. After Hitler and his forces invaded Poland, Canada quickly declared war on Germany on September 10, 1939.
Soon after this, Canadian forces were deployed to Great Britain and Western Europe to support the Allies. Canadian forces also helped defend British colonies in Southeast Asia from the Japanese Empire. During D-Day, Canadian soldiers stormed Juno Beach at Normandy. Due to sheer manpower and persistence, the Canadian forces broke through the German lines and pushed deep into France.
According to historical information, Canada’s forces advanced farther than any of the other invasion parties. Canadian forces also played key roles in the Battle of Britain and the Battle of the Atlantic. By the end of the Second World War, over 45,000 Canadians were killed and 55,000 Canadians were wounded.
Korean War: Soon after the conclusion of the Second World War, Canada joined the UN forces in 1951 to protect South Korea from the invading communist forces of North Korea. This decision to join the war was also part of a political decision to support the United States and Great Britain in preventing the spread of communism.
According the Western foreign policy at the time, the surrounding areas of Southeast Asia would become communist if Korea was allowed to fall. This idea became known as the Domino Theory. While Canada did not engage in as many battles as the American forces, there were still numerous Canadian casualties.
Throughout the Korean War, 516 Canadians were killed and 1,558 Canadians were wounded. While these figures are still rather large, they are relatively small when compared to the casualties of the First World War and Second World War. Due to this, many people often forget about Canada’s role in the Korean War. This has caused the Korean War to become known as the Forgotten War.
Vietnam War: To offset the large number of Americans dodging the draft by fleeing to Canada, Canada sent a volunteer force of over 30,000 servicemen to support American military efforts in Southeast Asia. During the Vietnam War, 110 Canadians perished.
Other Wars: Canada also participated in several other 20th century wars, including the First Gulf War and the Yugoslav Wars. Because of Canada’s staggering loss of life during the 20th century, Remembrance Day is observed to honour the sacrifices of members of the Canadian military.