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 kb:

Remembrance Day should be celebrated across the country. It is not just for Canadian soldiers but also for soldiers all over the world. Reflection day is a must and must be taught. Someone mentioned here that FAMILY DAY is a more useful day.... Well, sorry, that is the most ridiculous invention. Guess what: The original family day used to be SUNDAY (or Saturday, before it was taken away from us.


did Ontario not participate in the War, that's why we're not given a stats holiday.. is Ontario not part of Canada? it should be given the same holidays as that of other provinces and other provinces should be given the same. I don't understand why one is treated differently than the other, they're all in CANADA after all ?

Posted by Ed Hamilton:

There are those who never participate on Remembrance day. They never did nor will they ever. There are many of us who do. My father passed this year. He was a soldier for 33 years. Many of my relatives fought in all the wars. They deserve to be remembered by those of us that will. The Legion does not speak for many of us including my father. He did not agree with many of their thoughts, they speak for a select few. Its long past time Remembrance day was made a holiday.

Posted by Emily:

As previous comments have suggested, outside of assemblies at school when you are a kid, there is no time in a work day to really pause and reflect. As a young person in the work force the amount of time and effort expected and expanded at work superceeds most things in life. To have a day to reflect on the privilage of not living through the World Wars but remebering the people who did whether they lived or died would be a good thing for our society. In my family I know there are great-unlces I will never meet and grandparents I will never meet because of those wars.

Posted by MJ:

I agree... this should of been made the number one day off for EVERYONE! I am an "army brat" so are my kids and grandchildren. I have lost friends and loved ones. Yes we remember them everyday. But the 11th of November is the only day we can come together as a country to honor them. And working on that day makes it hard to due just that. Myself and many others need that time to shed a tear together...

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