Remembrance Day Canada 2017

In 2017 Remembrance Day is Saturday, 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 consensus 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?

Post your comments

Recent comments
Posted by Diane LeBlanc:

Shame in Quebec! Remembrance day ua Canadian!!

Posted by Debbie Sigfusson :

It does not seem right that some provinces observe this holiday and others do not. This needs to be all or none. Given the huge significance of our forefathers paving the way for our freedom, it should be observed by all Canadians.

Posted by Martha:

I think is should be a holiday as well. People think that during a work day you will have the minute of silence..... Not in my case. It's a go go all day and even though the president sent an email first think in the morning saying that at 11:11 we should you a silent moment in my 11 years working in this institution I have never done it. I would rather go to a commemorative ceremony that all the city halls have in their cities and honor and remember that people died for our freedom and to remember the ones that are in a hostile territory. I took a vacation day once and went to Ottawa, that was an amazing commemoration... And it is up to the parents to make the holiday a day to remember...

Posted by Cynthia Eyre:

My first reaction was that yes, of course it should be a national stat day but there is a very good point in NOT making it a stat, in that most people would not bother to observe unless they had been TAUGHT to... in schools growing up - every year. This creates an in-grained emotional response that is very difficult to ignore as an adult. If children have the day off, most do not have parents who have the means (many will still work and take a lieu day) to take them to memorial services whereas schools hold them or, bring the children to them. I believe that the best way to keep the history alive and to prevent war is to ensure that all children are educated in matters of the human cost of war - rather than have them sit on the couch playing war video games with no consequences. So, NO - November 11 should not be a statutory holiday.

Posted by Cathy:

Yes there is no more important day to have as a Stat holiday than to remember and Thank all those men and women who fought for our freedom. Take away the Queen's birthday...if you think we have too many holidays...but to say that Remembrance day is just another day to sleep in...that is an insult to all the men and women who went days, weeks, months and years "not sleeping in" but to fight for us...all of us. Show some respect....and each Province should be showing the same respect to this day...it is not a matter of having another holiday it is a day to show respect to those who fought for us...and who continue the fight for us.

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