Remembrance Day Canada 2018

In 2018 Remembrance Day is Sunday, 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 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?

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Recent comments
Posted by Howard McGregor:

Yes, definately Nov. 11th should be a stat holiday. Forget some of the other trash holidays like family day and pay tribute to the ones who made us free and have the lifestyle we have today. Put Xmas on hold till at least Dec. 15th, to much hoop la with this holiday.

Posted by Maria Silva :

I think Remembrance Day should be a stat holiday. Even if people consider it a day to sleep in, men and women fought and died for us to do so. Everything we have today from our jobs, to sleeping in, to our way of life, is because people fought for us. Religious holidays are just because the lawmakers of the time were Christian. If we allow holidays solely based on religious beliefs then we should certainly be allowing a holiday to recognize those who fought and died so we could even have those religious days. And let's not pretend that the genuine meaning behind those religious holidays have not been significantly dimmed by commercialism. There are kids who don't know why they are celebrating Christmas or who Jesus is. That's not to say that everyone has to be Christian and teach their kids to be the same. It means that if you're going to celebrate a religious holiday at least know what you're supposed to be celebrating. The war was real, the people in it were real. There's no belief involved. The fact that our society will focus on religion rather than something solid right in front of them is another post topic. But the fact that people left to fight for us and a lot never came back? That's real and that deserves recognition, a national holiday is a high form of recognition and our veterans deserve no less. It's terrifying to me imagining what our life would be like if the war was lost.And that's why our thanks and recognition as a nation are so important.

Posted by Nicole Byres, QC:

I believe that Remembrance Day should be a national (not selected provinces) statutory holiday. Of course some people will simply regard the day as another day off, however that does not mean commemoration of the meaning of/reason for the day will not also occur - whether that means a personal/private reflection time, or attending one of the public ceremonies. I grew up in BC where it was always a holiday. We learned about and first started to commemorate Remembrance Day in school - now in my late 50's I can still recite Dr. John McCrae's 'In Flanders Fields' by heart. Making November 11th a statutory holiday across Canada would be a good first step in recognizing the importance of remembering the sacrifices made during the wars; how well we then make use of the day and the opportunities it provides, is still (as always) up to us as teachers, parents, and citizens.

Posted by Lucy louro:

I think Remembrance Day should be a holiday cuz we could go to church and to services for our fallin troops just like good Friday not everyone is Christian and still it's a stat holiday just because some would just sleep in and do whatever like some say it doesn't mean all will and we could spend the day with loved ones and thanking our troops for making it possible to be free and enjoy this beautiful country and reflect on our possibilities !!!

Posted by Judy Meikle:

Remembrance Day should be a National holiday. Our military consists of men and women from across Canada and should be recognized for their contributions, as well as given a day to remember their fallen comrades. As military families we celebrate the freedoms our sons and daughters have fought for. Let's never forget the brave souls who have kept and continue to keep Canada safe.

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