Remembrance Day Canada 2019

In 2019 Remembrance Day is Monday, 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 Alex:

I believe it should be a stat. Too many of the “ceremonies” I saw growing up in school were just disrespectful. Often the soldiers were vilified rather than celebrated. The school should educate students regarding the significance of the day, but the day itself should be a stat.

Posted by Madhvee:

All of us respect this day and our special respect go to our soldiers. To make it more special it should be commemorated as a national holiday throughout Canada which also show our Canadian values and kindness

Posted by Dana:

Remembrance day should be a Statutory Holiday all across Canada. It doesn't make any sense that there is a Statutory Holiday in Ontario called Family Day. It's pretty sad when you have to appoint one day a year as a family day. Remembrance Day has been in observance for years. It's to honour the veterans and the people who fought for our Country. It's a shame that we only have one minute of silence when the other provinces do so much more, especially since the capital of Canada resides in this province.

Posted by Kelly:

Remembrance Day should be a statutory holiday for all provinces! Close stores so that people can’t go shopping. Really, asking an 8 year old if they would “just sit at home and watch movies and play with your little brother?” Maybe the question should have been from the 8 year old to the parent “ Would you take me and my little brother to a Remembrance Ceremony and teach us about honouring Canada’s fallen heroes? Since I am 8 years old and can’t get to one on my own”. Also, they are now thinking of once again making it a statutory holiday after surveying the school ceremonies and find them extremely lacking. Maybe people should think of it like they do with Family day. Spend the time with your family, attend a ceremony together and talk about the significance of remembering!

Posted by Deb L:

I live in BC, so I’m lucky I am able to attended services at the cenotaph every year. In 2017, we went to Ottawa for the services at the Parliament then to the War Museum, an incredible trip. To say young people don’t appreciate, in my opinion, is not true. My son read each and every panel at the museum over two days. It is just how people are raised and what is important not to forget, even when we are far removed from the wars.

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