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

I am a 6th generation canadian and I do not know why all canadians do not get this holiday it wasnt just a few provinces that fouhgt in the war, it is an insult to the rest of Canada

Posted by Mike:

Being the son of a soldier that gave almost 30 years of his life to the Canadian army and the grandson of soldiers who fought in the great wars it makes me sick to my stomach when I can't attend a remberance day ceremony on a weekday because my boss thinks it's a waste of time..True Canadians won't make it another day off they will come out and honour the men and women that died for us or still serve us..If it can't be a holiday make it leagal for workers to leave their jobs for 2 hours to pay their respects at ceremonies and memorials on November 11...

Posted by debra:

remberance day should be made a STAT holiday all over Canada. My compnay does not see it as one so i work will my husband attends services which i would to be a part off. when

Posted by C.:

It absolutely should be a stat holiday. It is crazy to me that only certain provinces are excluded, it should be Canada-wide. There is no reason why schools couldn't simply teach students about the importance of this day, hold assemblies, etc, the day before. Then, the next day, families could actually attend services held in their community together, instead of having to be at work during them. Every single year my workplace (and many others) simply stop work for the "moment of silence". As it stands, only retired, disabled, and otherwise unemployed people can attend the services held at their cenotaph. People act as though future generations will not be taught about this special day if it's a holiday...if they learn all about it the day before, they will understand the significance of honoring fallen veterans with a day of rest and reflection, a day to be with family and appreciate what freedoms we have been given because of these men and women. If the whole point is that they died for our freedom, it makes sense to have a day of FREEDOM to appreciate! I do believe that one day, the powers that be will embrace the decision that other provinces have made, hoping it is sooner rather than later. Since I haven't been able to attend a ceremony in years, I guess I will have to book the day off work this year since I'd really like to experience more than a paltry two minutes of silence before work roars back into gear again like nothing significant even occurred.

Posted by Scott:

If it was Not for the men and women of this country you would not have anything to be thankful for. The least we can do is have a holiday in remembrance of them.

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