Remembrance Day Canada is also observed in United Kingdom, Australia and many other Commonwealth countries. It is known as Poppy Day in South Africa and Malta, and Armistice Day in United Kingdom and New Zealand. The day, observed on 11th November marks the end of World War I on that day back in 1918.
The observance is a dedication to the civilians and the armed forces who died in World War I, World War II and other wars. It was first observed by King George V of the United Kingdom on 7th November, 1919. In Canada, the day is observed with a holiday for federal government employees. Western and Atlantic Canada observes the day as a general holiday.
If schools do not have a full holiday, they generally observe the day by holding assemblies commemorating the war dead. The National War Memorial in Ottawa is visited by thousands on this day who pay their due respects to the fallen soldiers and civilians.
The Canadians wear poppies on Remembrance Day and observe a two-minute silence at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month recalling the time when the Armistice of the World War I was signed.
The Significance of Poppies
The poppies bloomed across the battlefields of Flanders during World War I and their red color denoted the bloodshed that took place at that time. Though there are some people who prefer to wear white poppies on the day for promoting peace.
The Different Ceremonies
Many Commonwealth Nations observe this day by playing the Last Post, observing a “two-minute silence”, playing the Reveille and reciting the Ode of Remembrance. Singing National Anthems and laying wreaths to honor the war dead also form part of the observance.
Hamilton organizes a large and colorful parade including the Contingents from the Royal Navy, British Regular Army, the US Army, Air Force and Navy and many other services.
Canada During The War Years
Remembrance Day Canada is marked by providing an insight into the Canadian life during World War I. For this reason, color posters depicting Canada back in the days of World War I is used as a means of mass communication. The World War II posters have a more dramatic effect and are great advertising vehicles used by the Canadian Government. Remembrance Day also commemorates the Participation of about 26,000 Canadians in the Korean War.
The poem “In Flanders Fields” written in 1915 by Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae is of great significance on this day. Remembrance Day Canada is similar to Veterans Day in the US.