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.

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
Posted by wc:

First off Shame on Ottawa you have our National War Memorial and not hold a Day of Respect for all the people to partake. My Father was a WW II Veteran ...he was shot down and was a prisoner for 2 years. Only at Special Moments would he share some details of what he went through. It openned my mind to the terrible loss and sacrifices made by thoseBRAVE MEN AND WOMEN. I feel ashamed waiting so long to understand what our Heros did for us.Why was this Unforgetable Tragedy not a mandatory subject taught in school? So many gave so much in WW I &WW II and iam so sorry I wasted a lot of years not Honoring and Thanking the people who Fought To Keep Our Country Free. At the going down of the sun... I will RememberThem and give Thanks.

Posted by Serge:

If this is one country, statutory holidays should apply across the nation. I believe provincial governments should stop taking 'exceptions' from federal statutory holiday laws.

Posted by bing bong:

I would like remembrance day to be a holiday in Ontario. We don't have any holidays on September. I just want to stay home on remembrance day.

Posted by Calladis :

We wouldn't have families we do, families we had, and families we will have if it wasn't for our soldiers ensuring we have the ability to live as we do. Hang the selfish day. Remember those who had families and those who families had and lost for our safety.

Posted by twalters:

Having had many relatives fight for the freedoms we enjoy, I wish we had this day off to pay respect. we get many days off for a fictional character (dec 25 & easter). I have memoprie of my family members who risked their lives for mine. Recounting the tragedies that they endured for their country to indicate that this means less than a day off in the winter (Family day) is ludicrous. There are many ways that Armistice day can be celebrated and those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their countries remembered. We have a full day of television programming around New Years day celebrations would it not be just as easy to have the same dedication to a programming schedule to show the sacrifices that were made by so many individuals over the years as well as the men and women that continue to do so in the name of honor pride and country. I believe for them recognizing Remembrance day would be greatly appreciated. Sorry Ontario for your Family day, but lets face it without the sacrifice of our vets none of us would have families, I live in Ontario and can honestly say I would rather honor our veterans then have a day in February called family day that most people do not spend with their families anyway.

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