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.

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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
Posted by Morgan:

Uhhh, lol @ the comment that says "Don't add Remembrance day as a national holiday because we like family day more" Uhhh, x2. BC has both. What's stopping your provinces? Remembrance day should be a stat holiday. We're remembering the people who fought and died to save our country. Every other day is a family day.

Anonymous:

Whether anyone served in the armed forces or not (and of course for the ones that did) I find this very unconceivable that this could have come about to be in Canada in the provinces of (Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and Manitoba) that Remembrance on Nov 11th is not observed, are we not a nation collectively and with respect to our armed forces that all fought to keep this a nation.

Posted by Proud Daughter:

My Father served in WWII and I think it is a travesty to not observe this holiday in every province in Canada. I have to take time of work to go to the service held in Niagara Falls where my Dad spent his last 49 years working and raising a family of 5. If it were not for those brave men and the women who had to hold the fort down at home, where would this country be. Come on Prime Minister Trudeau....do the right thing! We should all be able to celebrate this day in history without being docked pay at work.

Posted by Steve Donovan:

Having served in the Canadian Armed Forces and paying homage/respect throughout the years on Remembrance Day, as Canadians we MUST NOT forget all those who have fallen before us in the sacrafice of our great Nation! Reference to those who have thoughts that children will learn more at school of this significant day if not out, I believe in a different "school of thought". In my children's school here in Alberta, the teachers organice a special ceremony typically the last day of school prior to Remembrance Day. All the kids are engaged during this ceremony. I truly believe that as parents we then have a responsibilty to talk to our children about this day and make the effort to bring them to the Remembrance Day ceremony in our local area. "Least we Forget" starts at home and must be passed down from generation to generation so our future leaders and citizens of Canada will always remember how our country came to be.

Posted by RONALD FALLA:

Unfortunately the majority do not realize the importance of this day and would not attend services therefore they do not deserve this day off. People like myself who would be attending services but they are working, have to miss them because of the ignorance of the majority.

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