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 concensus 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 Joy:

Of Course it should! Some of these people gave their lives. Others whose lives were changed forever due to injuries and we can't take one day out of 365 to remember and honour them. Not to mention the sacrifices their families made. We need to take lessons from our neighbours to South who have Veterans and Memorial Day!!

Posted by Elizabeth Filipchuk:

I would like to see "Remembrance Day" as a Stat holiday. For me, it is a Day that I Rememeber my Father who fought in the 2nd World War. My Father fought in the 2nd World War and after the war he came to Canada. I feel fortunate that I have been in Canada since a child. On the day, I give Appreciation and Gratitude to my Father.

Posted by Fiona:

I believe it should be a stat holiday. The younger generations have to remember these fine soldiers fought and sacrificed so much for us. Parents would be able to take their children to some of the events so that they can learn and remember the dedication and love these men had for our country.

Posted by Shiara:

It should be. Parents will be able to bring their children to museums and other events. Also Canada has too away less statutory holidays than other countries.

Posted by Nadine:

I agree that Remembrance Day should no doubt be a Statutory Holiday. We honor birthdays and other celebrations, we should keep aside a day to pay tribute to our fallen soldiers and to all who have sacrificed for us. More so our children should learn what it is to pay honor and tribute and learn to respect the real meaning of remembrance day.

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