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Canada honours veterans on Remembrance Day

Like many things this year, Remembrance Day will look a little different due to the COVID-19 pandemic. One thing, however, remains unchanged – Canadians will pause on Nov. 11 to honour our country’s veterans.

Remembrance Day was first observed throughout the British Commonwealth in 1919. It was first known as Armistice Day to commemorate the armistice agreement that ended the First World War on Nov. 11, 1918, at 11 am. Initially, Armistice Day was held on the Monday of the week of Nov. 11. However, in 1931 the House of Commons passed a bill to change the name to Remembrance Day and to observe it only on Nov. 11.

The first Remembrance Day was on Nov. 11, 1931.

Every year at 11 am on Nov. 11, Canadians pause in a moment of silence to honour and remember the men and women who have served and continue to serve Canada in times of war, conflict and peace. 

Ceremonies across the country pay tribute to the more than 2.3 million Canadians who have served throughout our nation’s history and the more than 118,000 brave souls who made the ultimate sacrifice.

There are ceremonies at war memorials, cenotaphs and churches across Canada, as well as abroad. Remembrance Day is observed in many countries, including the United Kingdom and Australia, France, Belgium and Poland. The United States previously observed Armistice Day on Nov. 11 but changed the name to Veterans Day in 1954.

In South Africa, Poppy Day is observed on the Sunday that falls closest to Nov. 11.

This year, due to COVID-19, many Remembrance Day ceremonies are going online. Vancouver’s Remembrance Day ceremony will be live-streamed on the city’s Facebook page starting at 10:30 am (PST).

Canada’s National Remembrance Day ceremony, which is held in Ottawa every year, will be held online this year as well. It is broadcast on TV. CBC, CTV and Global will all show the ceremony. It will also be live-streamed on the Royal Canadian Legion’s Facebook page at 7:45 am (PST).


Published on Nov. 10, 2020.