Remembrance Day in Canada

Remembrance Day

What is Remembrance Day?

Remembrance day is a memorial for all the Armed Forces Members who died in World War I. Nations of the Commonwealth, like Canada, Australia, and the U.K., commemorate the day yearly with various observances. Most nations observe the day on November 11 because hostilities of the First World War ended in 1918 "at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month."

After the Second World War, Allied nations agreed to rename November 11 Remembrance Day. The day commemorates all the fallen heroes of the "Great Wars." Remembrance Day is also part of Armistice Day, as the Treaty of Versailles signed by Germany and Allied nations put a stop to World War.

Remembrance Day All Quick Overview

  • Time / Date: November 11
  • Category: Federal
  • Where It’s Marked: Globally
  • Why It’s Marked: The day commemorates the lost member of the Armed Forces who died in the “Great Wars.”

History Of Remembrance Day

“The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month” became a significant time in history, marking the death of the soldiers in the World Wars. It holds a special place in everyone’s life as it marks the exact time hostilities stopped on the Western Front.

Although the four years of the first modern times war, World War I, made 70 million people mobilize and around 9 million and 13 million people died, where one-third of people have no known burial ground. So, the Allied countries selected this time and date to remember their fallen warriors.

In 1918, finally, after over four years of violent, nonstop warfare, the guns on the Western Front stopped firing at precisely 11 a.m., November 11. Due to severe setbacks and defeats, the allied troops managed to force the Germans back in the following four months. Then, the Germans requested an armistice in November to end the hostilities and secure a peaceful solution. They agreed to all the Allied conditions that resulted in complete surrender. Officially, World War I ended on June 28, 1919, when the two warring parties signed the Treaty of Versailles.

Before Remembrance Day, Armistice Day came into existence when on November 10, 1919, in the evening, King George V hosted a “Banquet in Honor of the President of the French Republic.” The next morning, the United Kingdom officially observed Armistice Day on the Buckingham Palace Ground. The Commonwealth Nations decided to replace the holiday name with Remembrance Day, and the United States chose to change it with Veterans Day.

How to Celebrate Remembrance Day

In 1919, the U.K. added a two-minute silence to the primary remembrance ceremony on Armistice Day's first anniversary at London's new Cenotaph. Australian journalist Edward Honey, an employee of Fleet Street, suggested the activity of a moment of silence. Coincidentally, a South African Statesman presented a similar proposition to the British Cabinet at the same time, which got approved.

Now let’s talk about how different countries observe Remembrance Day.

1. Canada

Remembrance Day in Canada is a national statutory holiday, a public holiday in all three territories, and a provincial holiday in six of the country's ten provinces. Between 1921 and 1930, Thanksgiving was observed on the same day as Armistice Day on the Monday following the week that November 11 fell on the calendar. But, in 1931, the government decided to establish the day on November 11 and officially changed the name to Remembrance Day. Canadians call the holiday "Jour du Souvenir” in French.

The Canadian Armed Forces partook in many "Great Wars" like WWI, WWII, Korean War. They declared Remembrance Day as a significant part of their nation to commemorate the brave men and women who served and are continuing to do their duty even during warfare, battles, and harmony. So, the Canadian government holds the official Canadian federal ceremonies at the National War Memorial in Ottawa, Ontario, following a rigid protocol.

Moreover, the government buried the remains of an unnamed Canadian Armed Forces member who died in France during the First World War at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the National War Memorial in May 2000.

2. The United States of America

After a campaign by the general public member for the inclusion of the heroes sacrificing their lives in the Second World War and earlier conflicts, the United States renamed the holiday Veteran's Day in 1954. Americans pay homage to the war heroes on Memorial Day, which is the May month last Monday.

3. The United Kingdom

They also did it so that the war impact could be decreased and the tradition stuck. Since 1939, the U.K. has observed the federal holiday on the Sunday nearest to November 11, so there is no economic disturbance. However, many people maintain the two minutes silence event on the day at 11 a.m.

4. Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands observe Remembrance day with many ceremonies of commemoration on the nearest Monday to November 11.

5. New Zealand & Australia

The Gallipoli tragedies have left a lasting impression on New Zealand and Australia. They hold ceremonies on ANZAC Day, which serve as the primary venue for honoring the lost souls at war. 

Moreover, Australian educational institutions observe “Read 2 Remember,” which is an observance to take a moment of silence for two minutes at 11 a.m. After that, the children are encouraged to read Rupert McCall’s the “Pledge of Remembrance” to learn about the day's history.

6. Bermuda

Bermuda Volunteer Rifle Corps and Bermuda Militia Artillery accounted for most of the nation's 544 First World War veterans. 53 Bermudians lost their lives in the battle; 15 were injured, 14 were taken to prison as war prisoners, 19 died from illness or wounds, and four were missing in action.

Bermuda observes Remembrance Day, which is a public holiday in the country. They pay homage to war veterans and departed soldiers by organizing a parade, where living war veterans and the dead soldiers’ descendants participate in the parade wearing full military regalia and medals.

The parade starts at 11 a.m. and finishes in front of the Cenotaph, Cabinet House. Right after, people lay flower wreaths on the location and observe the silence for two minutes to commemorate the heroes of World War I and subsequent wars.

7. France & Belgium

Remembrance Day is a national holiday in France and Belgium. Instead of a celebration day, it is more of a reflection of the tragedies. France holds marches across the nation. For example, the grand parade "Arc de Triomphe" takes place in Paris.

Countries that Observe Remembrance Day

Nations worldwide observe Remembrance Day under different names, like Veteran's Day, Armistice Day, and Memorial Day. Mainly, the Allied Nations celebrate this day commemorating the Armed Forces Members' death.

Interesting Facts about Remembrance Day

Remembrance Days has some facts we thought you would like to know about.

  • You will see poppies everywhere on Remembrance Day because it symbolizes the day.
  • John Mcrae was a soldier of the First World War and wrote a poem, “In Flanders Field,” inspired by poppy flowers.
  • People saw poppies growing on the lost soldiers’ graves, making them a symbol for the day.
  • London has a War Memorial Monument called Cenotaph on Whitehall.
  • In World War I, about 886,000 soldiers sacrificed their lives.
  • Fifty-four Commonwealth Nations observe Remembrance Day.
  • People commemorating Remembrance Day pause for two minutes on November 11 at 11 a.m. to pay homage to the war soldiers.
  • Belgium, France, and Poland are not Commonwealth nations, but they still observe Remembrance Day.

Unique Remembrance Day Celebration Ideas

If you want to join in Remembrance Day and commemorate the fallen brave heroes, here are some observance ideas.

  • Wear the symbol for the day. Paper poppies are sold everywhere in the Commonwealth nations as they represent the dead soldiers. So you can make yourself one or buy a poppy flower to commemorate the day.
  • Learn about the history of the wars that left many heartbroken. Many books and online blogs are available on the story behind Remembrance Day.
  • Take part in the two-minute silence tradition of the day. All the Commonwealth nations worldwide take 2 minutes of silence at 11 a.m. at their respective times. You can do the same.
  • You can read poems about Remembrance Day like "In Flanders Field," "Ode of Remembrance," and "Pledge of Remembrance." These will enlighten you on the day's history, and also enjoy reading them.

Remembrance Day Quotes

On Remembrance Day, take some time to honor the brave heroes of the war and wish everyone around you.

“On this Remembrance Day, I’m feeling grateful. The sacrifice and service of those in the Canadian Armed Forces has made our way of life possible.” - Naheed Nenshi, former mayor of Calgary

“A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.” - Joseph Campbell

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” - John F Kennedy

“In Flanders fields, the poppies blow. Between the crosses, row on row. That mark our place; and in the sky. The larks, still bravely singing, fly.” - John McCree


1. Is there a Remembrance Day in Germany?

Although Germany doesn’t observe November 11, they have their National Day of Mourning.

2. Why was the day's name changed from Armistice Day to Remembrance Day?

The United Kingdom wanted to commemorate World War soldiers, so they proposed changing the name.

3. What does Armistice mean?

Armistice indicates a formal peace agreement of suspension of fighting between warring nations or members.

Remembrance Day Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday Type
2022Fri11 NovRemembrance DayPublic
2023Sat11 NovRemembrance DayPublic
2024Mon11 NovRemembrance DayPublic
2025Tue11 NovRemembrance DayPublic
2026Wed11 NovRemembrance DayPublic

We constantly update the dates of holidays that keep changing every year. However, while we revise and change some dates to be accurate, if you find any errors, kindly inform us . That will mean a lot to us.

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