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8 things you can do for Remembrance Day


Photo credit: Geoffery Kehrig via Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC-SA

What IS Remembrance Day?

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:

1. Wear a poppy

Remembrance Day poppy on a uniform

Photo credit: Korona Lacasse via VisualHunt / CC BY

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.

2. Visit a war memorial

soldiers standing in front of the war memorial in Ottawa

The National War Memorial in Ottawa. (Photo credit: AV Dezign | www.avdezign.ca via Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC-ND)

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.

3. Send a letter

Thank You

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.

4. Check out The Peace Crane Project!

colourful origami crane

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!

5. Take two minutes

soldiers at war memorial taking a minute of silence

Taking two minutes to reflect and remember. (Photo credit: BluePrince Architectural via VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-ND)

Pause for two minutes of silence to honour, reflect on and remember our soldiers at 11:00 a.m. on November 11th.

6. Get creative

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? 

7. Learn about Canadian military history

an old plane at the war museum

Photo credit: Bob Linsdell via Visualhunt / CC BY

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

8. Read!

There are so many books that you can read about Remembrance Day. Here's just a couple of books you might like:

book coverA Poppy Is To Remember

by Heather Patterson and Ron Lightburn
Ages: 6-8

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.

book coverIn Flanders Fields

by Linda Granfield and Janet Wilson
Ages: 8+

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."

book coverThe Enemy

by Davide Cali and Serge Bloch
Ages: 8+

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.

book coverBlowin’ In the Wind

by Bob Dylan and Jon J. Muth
Ages: 8-10

A picture-book with illustrations that illustrates a famous song  — "Blowin' in the Wind" by singer Bob Dylan.

book coverWhere Poppies Grow

by Linda Granfield
Ages: 9-12

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.