Remembrance Day was originally called Armistice Day and is observed on the 11th day of the 11th month, November 11th. At the 11th hour on this day, we pause to remember the brave soldiers who fought for our country. That date and time mark the moment that World War I ended.
It’s important not to forget the sacrifice our Armed Forces have made and continue to make for us, and there are many ways we can honour them. Here are just a few:
You’ll usually see a lot of people wearing poppies for about two weeks leading up to Remembrance Day to show that they remember and support Canadian troops and veterans. Poppies were a common sight on the battlefield. You can find people handing out poppies at grocery stores for donations that will benefit our veterans.
There are several war memorials across Canada that you can visit, like the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier or The National War Memorial in Ottawa, The Halifax Memorial, or The Victoria Memorial in British Columbia.
Write to Armed Forces members or veterans and thank them for their service through the Postcards for Peace e-cards. You and your guardian can send one to a veteran, or those still serving, from the Veterans Affairs Canada website.
Show your commitment to world peace by folding a crane and displaying it or have your guardian mail it into the project for you. The goal of the project is to collect 1,000 peace cranes made by children and display them all over the world. They have received over 600 cranes from Canada so far!
Pause for two minutes of silence to honour, reflect on and remember our soldiers at 11:00 a.m. on November 11th.
Take part in the Royal Canadian Legion’s annual literacy and poster contest. School aged children across Canada can submit a poster, poem or short story. Schools all across Canada, from Grades 1-12, can enter the contest. Maybe your school will participate?
If you happen to be in Ottawa, visit the Canadian War Museum where you can learn basically everything there is to know about the history of our military. And if you’re not in Ottawa, you can still visit their online Remembrance Day exhibition.
There are so many books that you can read about Remembrance Day. Here's just a couple of books you might like:
by Heather Patterson and Ron Lightburn
How did the poppy that we all wear in November become Canada's symbol of honouring those who fought for our freedom on Remembrance Day? Learn about the symbolism behind the iconic poppy.
by Linda Granfield and Janet Wilson
John McCrae's famous poem has been recited by many generations. In this award-winning book, the lines of the poem are interwoven with interesting facts about World War I, details of daily life in the trenches of Europe and what led McCrae to write "In Flanders Fields."
by Davide Cali and Serge Bloch
This picture-book is a fable about two lonely soldiers facing each other across a barren battlefield. Each of them discovers that the enemy is not a faceless beast, but a real person with family, friends and dreams.
by Bob Dylan and Jon J. Muth
A picture-book with illustrations that illustrates a famous song — "Blowin' in the Wind" by singer Bob Dylan.
by Linda Granfield
This scrapbook of photos, memorabilia and anecdotes bring us face-to-face with people from all walks of life who risked everything for their country.