Honour Our Veterans

Does your family celebrate Remembrance Day? While World War I, also known as “The Great War,” officially ended on June 28, 1919, fighting had actually ceased about seven months earlier. The armistice went into effect between the Germans and the Allied Nations at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, or November 11. For that reason, it is November 11 that is regarded as the end of the war, a day marked for celebration.

Remembrance Day has also been called Armistice Day and Poppy Day, and it is commemorated in many countries across the globe. About 100,000 Canadian soldiers lost their lives over the course of WW I and WW II. Remembrance Day is known as a federal statutory holiday in Canada, with the notable exceptions of NS, NWT, ON and QC.

Remembrance Day is often symbolized through the use of artificial poppies. Canadian citizens wear these poppies and also place them at war memorials singly or in wreath form. The poppy wasn’t always a symbol of remembrance, though. The use of poppies as a symbol actually stems from a poem, In Flanders Fields, by John McCrae, a Canadian doctor who served in the military. The poem describes poppies that grew in Flemish graveyards where soldiers lay buried. It is said that poppies were able to grow in large numbers out on the battlefields, as they do well in disturbed soil. Their red petals reminded people back home of the soldiers who lost their lives in “The Great War,” and thus became a symbol of blood lost and casualties.

There are many war memorials throughout the world that celebrate Remembrance Day. One of the most popular, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, is located in Confederation Square in Ottawa, Canada. The tomb, added to the Canadian War Memorial in 2000, holds the remains of an unidentified Canadian soldier who died in France during WW I.

This November, Paul Davis celebrates and honours Canada’s veterans. Thank you for your willingness to serve and protect.