Remembrance Day Canada 2016

In 2016 Remembrance Day is Friday, 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 Sacha:

I think everyone should be able to attend the amazing services that are held for the men and women who have fought, and are still fighting for us. I think it is important for the children to see and hear the stories from the solders as well. Please make this a national holiday.

Posted by Anonymous::

I believe Remembrance Day should be a national legal holiday. If it was not for the sacrifice of brave men and women fighting for our freedom life in Canada could be very different, and not for the good. Think about it. Yes I see what others are saying about other days being stat holidays and shouldn't. Are we not saying that other religions no longer matter? Think about it. We really don't have a lot of stats. People will use their stats in the way they want. Some will have their moments of silence, some won't. Can't make a person remember. It's just a shame they don't. As for the children... Teach them the importance of Remembrance Day. That should be part of their jobs. Less We Forget.

Posted by Paul Brown:

Remembrance Day should be the ONLY mandatory and legal stat holiday in Canada. It is sad that all the other stat days have been obscured by consumerism and gluttony with little regard to the reasoning behind them (which honestly are mainly based on Christianity and we have become much more than an old world way of thinking country). Remembrance Day where I live brings out thousands of people to multiple places of memorial so it appears to have a strong backing of like minded individuals. Schools need to commit the week leading up to this day to educate the youth that over 100 years ago young men and women sacrificed their lives to give us the lives we live today. Anyone who thinks Family Day is more important is a selfish individual in my eyes.

Anonymous:

In Nova Scotia ,schools are,in fact, closed on Nov 11th. So the argument of not making it a stat. holiday so that the kids will be in school at a service ......is ridiculous .

Anonymous:

This is not right I don't care what any Canadian thinks I am a Canadian soldier ppcli my brother died from a IED in Afghanistan... If you don't stand behind us feel free to stand in front of us. All Canadians who fought and lost there life's as well as those who served and still serve is the most important day in the world. These man and woman gave there life's so people citizen like you can have a family day and live in peace can have a life can live free.

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