Remembrance Day Canada 2016

In 2016 Remembrance Day is Friday, November 11.

On remembrance day members of the armed forces (soldiers, sailors and airmen) are commemorated.

The other common name for this day is Armistice Day which marks the date and time when armies stopped fighting World War I. on November 11th at 11am in 1918 (the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month). Some 100,000 Canadian soldiers died in the First and Second World Wars.

In Canada, Remembrance Day is a federal statutory holiday - with a notable exception of NS, NWT, ON and QC - as it is in many other countries in the world where this day is observed on the national level.

All government buildings fly the Canadian flag this day and people remember those who fought for Canada during a two minute silence at 11am. Many people wear poppies before and on Remembrance Day to show their respect and support for Canadian troops. Poppies are generally handed out free but often a voluntary donation is given in exchange.

In the United States this day is called Veteran's Day and is also observed on November 11.

Should Remembrance Day be a stat holiday in every province?

We continue to receive lots of messages from people all over the country who are outraged why Remembrance Day is not a stat holiday everywhere in Canada. Indeed, it would make sense to make this a stat holiday in every province and territory - even in Ontario. But not everyone agrees. Send us your thoughts about this issue in the comment area near the bottom of this page.

Recently we received a comment from Jason and would like to post it on this page because we think that Jason makes a very good point in his message:

"Please DO NOT make Remembrance Day a statutory holiday in Ontario. Family Day is a much more appreciated break for families in the heart of the long cold depressing winter. Remembrance Day is better observered in a ceremony at your school, community centre or place of work."

Could this be true? What would most people do with another day off work? Sleep in, watch TV, play video games or celebrate our war heroes? Compare to Thanksgiving Day when most people cook a turkey and drink lots of beer instead of being genuinely grateful about anything.

Bill C-597 aims to make Remembrance Day a national legal holiday. It received third reading before the pariament's summer break. Even if the bill passes it would be up to the provinces to decide what days are statutory holidays. It's an often overlooked and little know fact that the Royal Canadian Legion does not endorse the bill out of concern that Canadians would not take time off to remember and would treat a day off as a holiday. They want the kids in school - so they can talk about it and learn about it - not sit at home and know nothing about it. It's about respecting the veterns and teaching about them not having a day off to do nothing.

If an organized observance was held at schools and workplaces people would be much more likely to spend time participating and keeping the importance of Remembrance Day top of mind, won't they?

Perhaphs we, as a nation, will never come to a concensus and agree that Remembrance Day should or should not be a holiday in every province but we should at the very least agree to the comments of a self-identified "Angry Canadian Preteen" who proposes that we spend more time preventing future atrocities and less time looking back: Let's use Remembrance Day as a reminder to all of us that for the remaining 364 days we need to focus our discussion and actions to ensure that future generations won't have to fight in wars at all.

P.S.: It seems disrespctful and outright greedy to stock shelves with Christmas gear before Remembrance Day. What do you think? When should stores start displaying Christmas decorations and gifts?

Share your holiday story, idea or comments

Send us your thoughts, comments and ideas about Remembrance Day in Canada. What should and should't be done on this day? How best to pay respect to current and past members of the armed forces?

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Recent comments
Anonymous:

This is not right I don't care what any Canadian thinks I am a Canadian soldier ppcli my brother died from a IED in Afghanistan... If you don't stand behind us feel free to stand in front of us. All Canadians who fought and lost there life's as well as those who served and still serve is the most important day in the world. These man and woman gave there life's so people citizen like you can have a family day and live in peace can have a life can live free.

Posted by Tony of Rexdale:

We put on a good show on Rememberance Day, but isn't it time we stop talking and get the the job done by listening to the people of Canada and make Nov 11th a holiday for all of Canada not just Federal we all should hang our head in shame for not doing this already.these men and woman serves us well lets do the same for them maybe, if it's observed all across Canada more people would be off work to attend the ceremonies

Posted by Ron MacLeod:

In Nova Scotia you are encouraged to go to work and forget about and get a day elsewhere off. How much more encouragement to forget it do we need. I am shocked at this contradiction. As far a schools they close so makes no sense to have the law construed this way.

Anonymous:

It should be a holiday and schools should focus on rememberance the week leading up to it. Children will better understand why we have Remembrance Day and better appreciate the 'freedom' of the day off. Soldiers fought for our freedom so we should be free on the day. When you only stand for a moment in a busy work day you will not be able to appreciate the sacrifices of the soldiers the same as a person who watch 6+ hours of war documentaries and movies on rememberance day (like I do).

Posted by McKelvey:

Should it be a stat? I don't know. But it should not be a holiday!! It's a National day of mourning. Personally, I have always taken this day off and taken my son to my local Legion so that he can lay his Great Grandda's wreath. My son never got to meet him and it's a point of pride with my boy, a connection to his Great Grandda.... I'm the proud Grandson of a FSSF Vet... I loved my Grandda, and know how he suffered after the War.... "Respect all that passed, but honour also, those that in daring to die..... survived...." Most consider me some kind of tough guy.... but I cry for two minutes on the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month.... I and my son remember....... respect

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