Remembrance Day is an important day, and this year, Canadian's will not only be thinking about our war veterans but also the two soldiers who recently lost their lives on Canadian soil. And while most people seek out a poppy to wear, not everyone may not have complete knowledge of how Remembrance Day started or what exactly it signifies. Here are five things all Canadians should know about Remembrance Day.
1. Remembrance Day was first observed in 1919 but under the name “Armistice Day” to commemorate armistice agreement that ended the First World War on Monday, November 11, 1918, at 11 a.m.
2. The name was changed to Remembrance Day in 1931.
3. The poppy is the symbol of Remembrance Day. These small red flowers grew in abundance in France and Belgium around the gravesites of those who died in the war because the soil became saturated with lime from debris and rubble from the fighting during the First World War. People began to pledge to always wear the red poppy of Flanders Fields as a sign of remembrance. In 1921, what is now known as the Royal Canadian Legion adopted the poppy as a symbol of remembrance and as an aid for fundraising for veterans in distress.
4. The poppy is to be worn on the left lapel of a jacket or shirt – as close to the heart as possible.
5. The familiar Remembrance Day bugle call which is actually called "Last Post" was used in the British Army to signal to any soldiers remaining on the battlefield that the fighting was over for the day. According to Veterans Affairs Canada, in Remembrance Day ceremonies it now symbolizes death
You can read more about stories of service and sacrifice through a new National project called The Memory Project. The Memory Project will provide all living Second World War and Korean War veterans with the opportunity to share their memories through oral interviews and digitized artefacts and memorabilia. These stories and artefacts are available on the site for the general public.
Information for this post was provided by Veterans Affairs Canada and CBC.