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In Honour of Remembrance Day

Monday is Remembrance Day, a somber and important day to recognize. But, as more and more World War II Veterans pass on, some of the meaning of the day has been lost. In November 2016, about 60,000 veterans from WWII remained in Canada, and many have passed in the three years since. So it’s up to us to remember.

Let’s talk about what Remembrance Day means.

Remembrance Day was originally called Armistice Day (armistice means truce) to commemorate the agreement that ended the First World War. That armistice happened on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, which is why we observe a minute of silence on November 11th at 11am.

Originally, the holiday was recognized on the Monday of the week that the 11th fell. However, in 1931, a Canadian Member of Parliament introduced a bill to have the name changed to Remembrance Day, and to have it observed on November 11th.

When we fall silent for a minute at 11am, we are remember not only those 42,000 Canadians who died in World War II, but also the 2.3+ million Canadians who have served our Country, and the 118,000+ lives that have been lost in our history.

Of course, another way we remember is by wearing a red poppy on our lapel and donating to the Royal Canadian Legion. Although the poppy became a symbol because of John McCrae, the Canadian soldier, field surgeon and poet who wrote In Flanders Fields, it has been adopted as a symbol of remembrance by other countries as well.

It’s important, this coming Monday, that we take time to remember. Whatever your thoughts on war, the men and women who fought in Dieppe or Vimy Ridge were doing it so that we didn’t have to. And they deserve to be remembered, if only for a minute.