The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the guns fell silent… On November 11th, take a moment to remember and honour those who have served Canada, past and present, in times of war, military conflict and peace.
Remembrance Day occurs in Canada each year on November 11th. It is a day of national commemoration for the more than 118,000 Canadians who have died in military service and the many more who survived and continue to serve.
The annual day of commemoration for Canada’s war dead began after the First World War. It was first observed as Armistice Day, in 1919. For over ten years, Armistice Day was the first Monday in November. In 1931, the name was changed to Remembrance Day, and the date of observance was fixed to November 11.
John McCrae wrote the poem, “In Flanders’ Fields” during the First World War. The poem’s reference to poppies has made the flower a symbol of remembrance. Since 1921, Canadians have worn poppies on their lapels to mark Remembrance Day.
IN FLANDERS’ FIELDS
By Lt Col John McCrae (of Guelph Canada)
Died January 28th, 1918 while on active service in France.
In Flanders’ fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders’ fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders’ fields;
A recitation by Leonard Cohen to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the poem, in Flanders Fields.
This year’s theme for Veteran’s Week is the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. Visit Veteran’s Affairs Canada to learn about the key battles and campaigns that led to an allied victory.