Remembering with Gratitude: Remembrance Day in Canada
Every year on November 11th, Canada solemnly observes Remembrance Day, a day dedicated to honoring the brave men and women who have served and sacrificed for our country. This important day of reflection and remembrance is deeply ingrained in Canada's history and is a time for us to come together as a nation to pay our respects and express our gratitude for the sacrifices made by our veterans.
The History of Remembrance Day
Remembrance Day, originally called Armistice Day, commemorates the armistice signed between the Allies and Germany, ending the hostilities on the Western Front of World War I. This armistice took effect at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, and that precise moment continues to be a focal point of remembrance on this day. Over time, Remembrance Day has come to represent a broader acknowledgment of all Canadian military personnel who have served in various conflicts, including World Wars I and II, the Korean War, peacekeeping missions, the war in Afghanistan and the many other conflicts throughout the world our military members are called to serve.
The Poppy: A Symbol of Remembrance
The red poppy flower, inspired by the famous war poem "In Flanders Fields" written by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae during World War I, has become a poignant symbol of Remembrance Day. The Royal British Legion introduced the red poppy as a symbol of remembrance in 1921, and it has since been adopted worldwide. In Canada, the Royal Canadian Legion distributes poppies each year leading up to Remembrance Day. Wearing a poppy is a way for Canadians to show their support and gratitude for our veterans.
Remembrance Day is marked by various ceremonies across Canada, with the largest and most solemn taking place at the National War Memorial in Ottawa. These ceremonies typically include the playing of the Last Post, the observation of a two-minute silence, and the laying of wreaths in memory of the fallen. Schools, communities, and workplaces often hold their own ceremonies and moments of silence to pay their respects. It is a day for Canadians to come together and reflect on the sacrifices made for our freedom.
Honoring Our Veterans
Remembrance Day is not only about remembering those who have made the ultimate sacrifice but also about expressing our appreciation and support for our living veterans. Many veterans may attend Remembrance Day events, and it is an opportunity to personally thank them for their service and to let them know that their sacrifices are not forgotten.
Teaching the Next Generation
One of the most important aspects of Remembrance Day is passing on the tradition of remembrance to younger generations. Schools and community organizations often play a key role in educating children about the significance of this day, ensuring that the memory of our veterans and their sacrifices endures.
Remembrance Day in Canada is a time to pause and reflect on the profound impact of war on our nation and the world. It is a day to remember, to give thanks, and to honor those who have served and continue to serve. As Canadians, it's our collective responsibility to ensure that the sacrifices of our veterans are never forgotten, and Remembrance Day provides a poignant reminder of that duty. So, let us wear our poppies with pride, attend local ceremonies, and join in a collective moment of silence to pay tribute to our heroes who have given so much for our freedom and peace.
Lest we forget.
Cde Joyce Johnson (Veteran) laying a wreath in honour of WW2 Veterans
Members of 1 CER stand guard at Devon's cenotaph
Michelle Strekies, VICD Service Dogs lays a wreath in remembrance of animals in service with Cde. Dave Marson (veteran)