In today’s fast-paced world, it can be easy to take our way of life for granted, and forget that so many men and women sacrificed for the freedoms we enjoy. As a nation, it is important to remember those who served and sacrificed, to participate in commemorations that honour the Fallen, and to encourage all Canadians, young and old, to pause, to give thanks and to remember.
Remembrance initiatives remind us to take time to honour those who have dedicated their lives to serve our country and protect our freedoms. Wearing a Poppy and taking two minutes to stand in collective silence bring us together as a nation to join in honouring and remembering those who serve.
As the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month nears, Canadians across the country will join millions of others, whether at a cenotaph, at workplaces, in schools, in their homes, or going about their lives, to collectively pause for two minutes of silence to honour, thank and remember our Fallen. There is nothing more poignant than an entire nation stopping at 11:00 to remember.
As we gather on November 11th, we share in our gratitude, our sorrow, and our pride for all who served, fought, suffered and died for the freedoms we enjoy today. As Laurence Binyon wrote as part of his 1914 poem “For the Fallen”, and now recited as the Act of Remembrance:
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
As Canada promises to never forget, the question of “Why is Remembrance Day important?” will always be a very personal question. Hear what some Canadians are saying about why they remember.
“I was taught from a very young age the importance of Remembrance Day, of the loss and sacrifice of so many brave souls. To remember is the least we can do for the freedoms we are able to enjoy today. Veterans deserve our respect and support, not only on November 11th but everyday.” - Deborah Peever
“Remembrance Day helps me remember the amazing country I live in, and think of my grandpa Jensen who fought in World War II so that we could have the freedoms that we do! He is gone now, but I always remember him when I put on my poppy every year!” - Alyssa Kindt
“Remembrance Day is a time to remember the sacrifices made by people such as my Dad (RCAF) and Father-in-law (RCA) in WWII and other wars, conflicts & peacekeeping missions Canadian men and women have served in.” - Palmier Stevenson-Young
“Remembrance Day is important to me because it allows me to teach my children about the service of the men and women who served for us. My Grandmother was RCAF and I am blessed to have many friends who have and are serving.” - Laura Parrott
“I WILL NEVER FORGET! For years my dad talked about and told stories of his time in service. We stood every year at the steps of the local cenotaph, wherever we happened to be in the world, our hands on our hearts remembering. His father, my grandad, served during the First World War in Africa, and in the Second World War stood side by side with his sons, one of which was my dad... I am so proud of them, all of them, those I know and those I don’t... Brave, Brave young men and boys. May we never forget.” - Sheila Chapman
“Being an ex service member I can never forget what my comrades have done for us as a country and what they still are doing. I lost many brothers in arms and they will never be forgotten - pro patria my brothers.” - Chris Ledger-Nayanookeesic
“My father died in Holland during WWII just before I was born. Remembrance Day is the most important day on the calendar for me. I never met my father but I remember him every day of my life.” - Sandie Steeds Paluc
“We owe so much to our Veterans and current serving military; we own them our respect for sure. As a Military Mom l am forever reminded about the sacrifice our service members make. Family time, lost holiday time and missed milestones in their children's lives. God bless our Military, past and present.” - Lynn Shearer
“Young men and women gave us our freedom in exchange for their lives. Many thanks to all of them. I have a child in the Canadian Army who, even today, has seen far too much for us to even imagine! Yesterday, today, tomorrow... Never Forget!” - Beth Bradley Higgins
“Remembrance Day is a time for all Canadians to come and gather and pay respect and thoughts to those who have served, continue to serve and most importantly to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice with their life. From one Vet I thank my comrades for their service and friendship. I know I will not forget. Flanders Field rings true in my ears every time I hear it or read it. At the going down of the sun... we will remember. - Simon Donna Mac Innis
You can join the conversation on social media using the hashtag #GetYourPoppy, to share why you remember and encourage others to take time to honour and thank Canada’s Veterans.
On November 11th, join Canadians to observe a moment of silence to mark the sacrifices of the many who have fallen in the service of their country, and to acknowledge the courage of those who served and continue to serve today.