On November 11, Remembrance Day, Canadians everywhere will don their poppies and proudly fly the Maple Leaf as they remember the many men and women who have served, and continue to serve, their country. Brush up on your history and find out more about this important holiday with these 10 facts about Remembrance Day.
1. Remembrance Day was initially called “Armistice Day” and it originated to commemorate the end of World War I on November 11, 1918.
2. Poppies are worn during a remembrance period that runs from the last Friday in October till November 11. The poppies are also worn at memorial events throughout the year, such as anniversaries of important battles. Money raised from the “Poppy Campaign” provides assistance for military veterans in need.
3. The poppy tradition began when the noticeable red flower was seen growing over the graves of soldiers.
4. Led by the Governor General, the National Remembrance Day Ceremony is held at the National War Memorial in Ottawa and is broadcast nationally.
5. The National (Silver) Cross Mother represents all mothers whose sons or daughters died while on active duty. Chosen by The Royal Canadian Legion, the annual honoree places a wreath at the base of the National War Memorial at the National Remembrance Day Ceremony.
6. Remembrance Day is a statutory holiday in most Canadian provinces, except Nova Scotia, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec.
7. At 11 a.m., on the 11th day of the 11th month, Canadians stop what they’re doing for a moment of silence.
8. Members of the Canadian military have seen combat in both World Wars, the Korean War, the South African War, the Arab-Israeli Conflict in 1974, and in Afghanistan, among other battles.
9. Previously, Remembrance Day coincided with Thanksgiving Day. Many veterans and citizens, however, pushed for the days to be celebrated separately, and in 1931, Thanksgiving was moved to a different date.
10. The poem, “In Flanders Fields,” was written by Canadian John McCrae and has become synonymous with Remembrance Day. It is often recited at many memorial ceremonies.
As you mark Remembrance Day and all other holidays, check this blog to insure your festivities are planned the eco-friendly way.