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?

Post your comments

Recent comments
Posted by John:

So why can't we have both - Family Day and Remembrance? This site states it would be like having Thanksgiving Day "when most people cook a turkey and drink lots of beer." That could be said for all the other holidays. The point is, if one province has the day as a statutory holiday, we should ALL have it. You can always learn about it the day before in schools.

Posted by Mary Petrie:

As an primary teacher in elementary schools in Ontario for many years, staff taught the history of Canada's participation in the wars with activities appropriate to the age of the children but they all developed a level of understanding and empathy in preparation for Remembrance Day. We always had an assembly on Nov.11th with appropriate readings and poems by students, songs, bugle calls and representatives from the forces. The students participated fully in a vey solemn event and even the youngest kindergarten children would be still and attentive. Parents and neighbours attended. How many of those children would have been taken to a Cenotaph ceremony or so involved in it. I strongly support children being in school on Remembrance Day.

Posted by Jeff Benninger:

Do we forget that all these human beings lost there lives for us. Anybody that thinks family day is more important , needs to see a doctor. One lousy minute of silence is how we show are appreciation for all who died. Family day isn't even family with all the stores that are still open. Remembrance day should of always been a holiday , it's no wonder our vet's go to Europe , they truly appreciate what these men did for them , and we should do the same , but we don't. Shame on this Country and the people in this country that doesn't think this is an important day to show our appreciation for our war vet's. ONE LOUSY MINUTE P.S. It sure makes me want to fight for this country , I know I would be appreciated. NOT

Posted by Dixie:

I would like to go to the Remembrance Day service at the local cenotaph, but instead I'm at work where all we do is a get an email at 11 am with In Flanders Fields in it. I don't see how this is preferable. When my sister was on mat leave she took her baby to the local remembrance day service and this seemed a lot more respectful and appropriate to me than an email.

Posted by Greg :

It should be a holiday. It's up to parents to teach their children the respect and meaning of the day. I shouldn't have to take a day off of work to honour veterans when it should be a Stat, over family day!

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