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 Wayne:

At some point I changed my mind, I do not think it should be a stat holiday. If it was then you won’t get many more people involved in the services. At least being a work/school day means that kids have not choice but to observe it. I think more companies are allowing workers to take some of the day off to partake in the commemoration which is commendable, hopefully many more do. They would rather workers leave for an hour or two than leave for the day. If the government could mandate community involvement on that day then great, otherwise a stat holiday just says the family can stay in their PJs in the morning - which defeats the whole purpose.

Posted by larry Milman:

We are expressing gratitude for someone who gave their life/lives for us. Why is that different than Good Friday, or Remembrance Day?

Posted by Deryk Upton:

Fellow Canadians, I disagree with most comments I reviewed. I think there is a middle ground, that has not been advocated. It is a very unique day and thus should have an equally unique observance. Half day for those who attend the ceremonies, schools closed until post ceremonies,same for all non essential services and businesses, parents encouraged to introduce this part of our history to children, resist the temptation to treat yourself to a lazy morning and really and truly think about the desperate and horrible many endured, in all actions - on our behalf.

Posted by Natalie:

Remembrance Day is a misnomer in Alberta. As a teacher we, once again, pick up the slack and ensure students have a Remembrance Day ceremony at school on the last schoolday before Remembrance day, as the lion's share of students do not attend community services on Nov. 11...that way students can stay home and have a holiday...what a bastardization of what the day was intended for...we should be laboring as hard as possible to recognize the hard work and valiant efforts and sacrifices of our war veterans...instead we lounge around like the entitled miscreants we have become

Posted by Vicky Jones:

I strongly agree that Remembrance/Armistis Day be a Statutory Holiday Canada wide as a show of our deep respect to those men, women & families who sacrificed so much for all we have today! As a disabled member of Society, I encounter daily struggles & complications just trying to exist. I can only imagine what those men & women endured with the primitive medical care they would receive in the field. Also how much pain they suffered even without injury just trying to exist in extreme heat, freezing cold & pouring rain! Afghanistan,Iraq & Syria with their 40 degree heat, Vietnam with the swamps & all of the other natural disasters in different countries are all a testament to their internal fortitude & dedication! My grandfather was a Sgt in the 2nd war & my moms only brother a Sgt in Korea. Let's hope & pray this immature word war between Trump & Un doesn't bring us to a 3rd war!

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