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 Linda O'Brien:

Please do not make Rememberance Day a stat holiday, just the act of taking 1 or 2 minutes of silence out of our work or school day on November 11 keeps the reason for Rememberance Day alive. If we make it just another holiday the reason for remembering will be lost. It is very important that every man, woman and child in the world remembers what was lost and what was gained in WWI and WWII.

Posted by Howard Munn:

I'd guess its the businesses that don't want Remembrance Day as a holiday, not the people.

Posted by Walter Matchett:

It is absolutely wrong that Rememberance Day is not a stat holiday in Canada. Why are certain people like govt employees and chartered banks have it off?? Are these people special or something? Compared with everyone else? Seems to be discrimination to the rest of us isn't it!!!!! We should all have the same rights to honour those who sacrificed their lives for our peace!!!!

Posted by Pat Daoust:

Remembrance Day should be a statutory holiday in all of Canada. I remember when I was a Cub leader bringing my pack to the cenotaph in our town. We marched with members of the Legion and other groups who would participate in the parade. I am not saying that all those people who be off work would participate, but I feel that people should have the chance to participate.

Posted by Donny Beltran:

I am certain those veterans came from all parts of Canada to answer the call and fight for our freedom. And what’s the best way to honour them for what they have done? Declare “Remembrance Day” as a National holiday throughout Canada!

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