Remembrance Day Canada 2022: History, Significance and Celebrations

Remembrance Day is annually celebrated on 11th November in Canada and other commonwealth nations including UK. It carries much of the same meaning as America’s Veterans Day.  

Canadians recognize Remembrance Day, originally called Armistice Day, every 11 November at 11 a.m. It marks the end of hostilities during the First World War and an opportunity to recall all those who have served in the nation’s defence. 

Following a tradition inaugurated by King George V in 1919, the day is also marked by war remembrances in many non-Commonwealth countries. The First World War officially ended with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on 28 June 1919. 

Event Remembrance Day Canada
Date November 11, 2022
Day Friday
Significance The day honors all of those who have served in the nation’s defence.
Observed by Canada


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Remembrance Day Canada History: 

The story of this holiday starts from the First World War which took place between the Allies and the Axis Powers. In Allies there were Britain, France and the United States while the Axis powers were Germany, Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire. As the Britain was on the allies said so all of the colonies of the British Empire that time fought from the British side in the war. At 11 A.M. on November 11, 1918, the guns on the Western Front fell silent after more than four years of continuous warfare. The allied armies had driven the Germans back, having inflicted heavy defeats upon them over the preceding four months. In November, the Germans called for an armistice, or suspension of fighting, in order to secure a peace settlement and agreed to surrender. 

The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month attained a special significance in the post-war years. The moment when hostilities ceased on the Western Front became universally associated with the remembrance of those who had died in the war. This first modern world conflict had brought about the mobilization of over 70 million people and left between nine million and 13 million dead, perhaps as many as one-third of them with no known grave. The allied nations chose this day and time for the commemoration of their dead soldiers as a way to pay respect for all the heroes who fought on this war. 


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Canadians began to commemorate their veterans and war dead as early as 1890, when Decoration Day began to be observed on 2 June, the anniversary of the 1866 Battle of Ridgeway against the Fenians. A further observance was held on 27 February, from 1900 to 1918, to mark the Canadian victory over the Boers at the Battle of Paardeberg. The first Armistice Day commemoration was in 1919, when King George V called on all countries in the British Empire to observe it. In 1921, the Canadian Parliament passed an Armistice Day bill to observe ceremonies on the first Monday in the week of 11 November, but this combined the event with the Thanksgiving Day holiday. For much of the 1920s, Canadians observed the date with little public demonstration. Veterans and their families gathered in churches and around local memorials, but observances involved few other Canadians. 

In 1928, some prominent citizens, many of them veterans, pushed for greater recognition and to separate the remembrance of wartime sacrifice from the Thanksgiving holiday. In 1931, the federal government decreed that the newly named Remembrance Day would be observed on 11 November and moved Thanksgiving Day to a different date. Remembrance Day would emphasize the memory of fallen soldiers instead of the political and military events leading to victory in the First World War. 

Since its introduction, Remembrance Day has gone through periods of intense observation and periodic decline. The 50th anniversary of the end of the Second World War in 1995 marked a noticeable upsurge of public interest, which has not ebbed in recent years during the celebrations. It is now a national holiday for federal and many provincial government workers, and the largest ceremonies are attended in major cities by tens of thousands. Today it works as a nice holiday for public officials and people to get a nice Day off from work while remembering the sacrifices of the soldiers. 


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Remembrance Day Canada Significance: 

In Canada, Remembrance Day is a statutory holiday in all three territories and in six of the ten provinces. Nova Scotia recognizes the day under separate legislation, but Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec do not treat the day as an official holiday in any capacity. The Royal Canadian Legion is officially against making the day a national statutory holiday in part because the day-off aspect would eventually overtake the memorial purpose of the occasion, whereas having schools in regular session on that day would be an opportunity for children to be taught the day’s true significance in a mandatory fashion.  

Veterans Affairs Canada states that the date is of “remembrance for the men and women who have served, and continue to serve our country during times of war, conflict and peace”; particularly the First and Second World Wars, the Korean War, and all conflicts since then in which members of the Canadian Armed Forces have participated in throughout ita history. It is a nice way if paying tribute to all of the heroes who sacrificed their lives for the service in protecting not just Canadians but also overall humanity by participating in major world conflicts for a secure future. 

The same department also runs a program called ‘Canada Remembers’ with the mission of helping young and new Canadians, most of whom have never known war, “come to understand and appreciate what those who have served Canada in times of war, armed conflict and peace stand for and what they have sacrificed for their country.” Hence in this way this day also works very well in encouraging and inspiring youth of the nation to serve their country by joining the Armed Forces as well to protect their country and be real-life heroes. 

Remembrance Day rejuvenated interest in recalling the war and military sacrifice, attracting thousands to ceremonies in cities large and small across the country. It remained a day to honour the fallen, but traditional services also witnessed occasional calls to remember the horror of war and to embrace peace. Remembrance Day ceremonies were usually held at community cenotaphs and war memorials, or sometimes at schools or in other public places. Two minutes of silence, the playing of the Last Post, the recitation of In Flanders Fields, and the wearing of poppies quickly became associated with the ceremony.

Remembrance Day is a time to reflect on the important role Canada played in the conflict, as well as its historical relations with the rest of the Commonwealth as many people outside of Canada often forgets or unaware about the importance of Canada’s role in both world wars. Since Remembrance Day is a statutory holiday, many Canadians have an extra day to catch up on quality time with family members. For those with relatives who died while serving in the military, Remembrance Day is an extra special time for remembering and honoring those loved ones. 


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Remembrance Day Canada Celebrations: 

The official national ceremonies are held at the National War Memorial in Ottawa, the capital. These are presided over by the governor general of Canada and attended by the prime minister, other dignitaries, the Silver Cross Mother, and public observers. Occasionally, a member of the Canadian royal family may also be present on this occasion. 

The commemoration then typically begins with the tolling of the carillon in the Peace Tower, during which current members of the armed forces arrive at Confederation Square, followed by the Ottawa diplomatic corps, ministers of the Crown, special guests, the RCL, the royal party (if present), and the viceregal party. 

The arrival of the governor general is announced by a trumpeter sounding the “Alert”, whereupon the viceroy is met by the Dominion president of the RCL and escorted to a dais to receive the “Vice Regal Salute”, after which the national anthem, “O Canada”, is played and sung in English and French. 

The moment of remembrance begins with the bugling of “Last Post” immediately before 11 am, when the gun salute fires and the bells of the Peace Tower toll the hour. A flypast of Royal Canadian Air Force craft then occurs at the start of a 21-gun salute, upon the completion of which a choir sings “In Flanders Fields”. 

Similar ceremonies take place in provincial capitals across the country, officiated by the relevant lieutenant governor, as well as in other cities, towns, and even hotels or corporate headquarters. Schools will usually hold special assemblies for the first half of the day, or on the school day prior, with various presentations concerning the remembrance of the war dead. 

Most Searched FAQs on Remembrance Day Canada: 

1. When is Remembrance Day Canada celebrated? 

Remembrance Day Canada is annually celebrated on 11th November. 

2. Why do we celebrate Remembrance Day? 

Remembrance Day honors soldiers who fought for their countries, not only in World War I but in all conflicts. 

3. Is Remembrance Day a statutory holiday in Canada? 

Remembrance Day is recognized by the federal government as a national holiday, but not all provinces observe it as a paid statutory holiday.

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