Remembrance Day Canada 2020

In 2020 Remembrance Day is Wednesday, 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.

I asked my 8 year old: would you learn anything about remembrance day if you stayed at home or would you probably just watch movies and play with your little brother? Her answer was: "I would just play and watch movies. At school at least I don't forget to talk about why we should try and not go to war anymore. Well I can't forget because the teachers tell us all sorts of things and we have to listen."From a random dad

The comments at the bottom of this page overwhelmingly favour making this a stat holiday across Canada. Maybe it should be a stat holiday for adults and a mandatory school day for kids?

Bill C-597 aimed to make Remembrance Day a national legal holiday. It received a third reading but did not become law. Even if the bill had passed it would be up to the provinces to decide what days are statutory holidays. It's an often overlooked and little known 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 Keith M.:

It is very sad that this is not a stat holiday throughout Canada but it is disgraceful it is not in Ontario. Every year there are Remembrance Day ceremonies in Ottawa that I am unable to go to because I must work. My great great uncle served and died in WW1, and I have a great uncle who served in WW2, and finally my father served in Korea and multiple peace keeping missions including Cyprus. It would be very nice if I could go to the ceremony in the nation's capital in honour and thanks to them.

Posted by Daniel MacNeil:

Remembrance Day should be a Federal Statutory Holiday so all Canadians can honour and remember the sacrifice of others for our Freedom. This day is needed so we never forget.

Posted by Dave Green:

I strongly believe it should be a holiday, My family has fought in both world wars securing our future and I can't even get a day to spend with my family to teach them what their great grandfather and great great grandfather has done for them and this country protecting our future. even writing this makes me sick to my stomach because I can't believe how many lives were lost and we can't even mustard up one single day for the country to reunite and celibate it off with ceremony and parades and give our heroes the right to be remembered properly and not just with a whopping couple min pause of silence that not every place even honors. So from the bottom of my heart and the souls of my departed family that fought and served for peace in this world, lets take one full day to remember these heroes.....

Posted by Ursula :

Remembrance Day should be definitely a holiday. TV could have more documentaries about WWI and WWII. Canadians know a lot about WWI but not much about WWII. Why not have a day off to be able to spend time with children and grandchildren, walk around cities, show them monuments, talk about those who fought for our freedom and to be able to celebrate in the cities around the City Halls?

Posted by Mstk Astoforoff:

I think everyone should have Remembrance Day as a holiday to honour the brave men and women who have served to protect us. My grandfather fought in WW2 and it would be nice to honour him and visit his grave on that day.I don't think it's fair that the only people who receive this holiday are government employees. If only one group of people are allowed that day it should be the men and women who are or were part of our military.

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