Remembrance Day Origin

Remembrance Day is a yearly memorial day that is observed in many Commonwealth countries, including Canada, to remember those who died in military service, and to honour those who served in wartime. It is observed across Canada each year on November 11th — the anniversary of the Armistice agreement of 1918 that ended the First World War. On Remembrance Day, public ceremonies and church services often include the playing of “Last Post,” a reading of the fourth stanza of the poem “For the Fallen,” and two minutes of silence which commences at 11 a.m. Wreaths are laid at local war memorials and assemblies are held in schools. The red poppy is a symbol of Remembrance Day that was inspired by the poem “In Flanders Fields,” written by Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae May of 1915.
The red poppy is a native plant along much of the Western Front during the First World War. The poppy has become a powerful symbol of Remembrance Day. It is the principal emblem of the Royal Canadian Legion which in turn distributes several million each year to be worn by Canadians on Remembrance Day.
The blood-red poppy has since been associated with the fighting armies of Europe and often overgrew throughout the mass graves left by battles as expressed in the poem “In Flanders Fields the poppies bloom, between the crosses, row on row…”.
We often take for granted our Canadian values and our institutions, our freedom to participate in cultural and political events, and our right to live under a government of our choice. The Canadians who went off to war in distant lands, leaving their homes and families, went in the belief that the values and beliefs enjoyed by Canadians were being threatened. They truly believed that “Without freedom there can be no ensuring peace and without peace no enduring freedom.”
By remembering their service, their sacrifice, we recognize the tradition of freedom these men and women fought to preserve. They believed that their actions in the present would make a significant difference for OUR future, but it is up to us to make sure that their dream of peace is realized. On Remembrance Day, we remember the courage and sacrifice of those who served their country and realize our responsibility to work for the peace they fought hard to achieve.