Remembrance Day – Lest We Forget

November 08, 2017  |     |   0 Comment

“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.”    John Diefenbaker

Remembrance Day, also known as Armistice Day, is a memorial day observed in both Commonwealth and non-Commonwealth Nations, to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty. It is observed on November 11th in most countries to recall the end of hostilities of World War I on that date in 1918.  Hostilities formally ended “at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month”, in accordance with the armistice signed by representatives of Germany and the Entente in Paris, France.

On November 11th, millions of Canadians will gather across our country to honour and show our respect for the 1,500,000 brave men and women who have served our country and the over 100,000 who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty to protect our freedom since the First World War.

As a visual pledge to honour and never forget the sacrifices of our fallen soldiers, we wear a Poppy on the lapel of our jackets or blazers.  The Poppy has stood as a symbol of remembrance since 1921.  The use of the poppy as a symbol of remembrance comes from a poem written by John McCrae, a Canadian doctor serving in the military. The poem is called In Flanders Fields and describes the poppies growing in the Flemish graveyards where soldiers were buried.

I’ve been asked questions by many people about the Poppy, such as how long it should be worn and the proper side to wear it on. Here are a few guidelines to help with the etiquette surrounding the Poppy:

1. A Poppy should be worn on your left side, just over your heart.

2. Traditionally, Poppies are worn during the remembrance period between the last Friday in October and sundown on November 11th, but can be worn at any time.

3. The Poppy is a sacred symbol of Remembrance and should not be defaced in any way. No other pin, therefore, should be used to attach it to clothing.

4. The most appropriate spot to leave your Poppy at the end of the day on November 11th is at the base of a war memorial or cenotaph, but the way in which to dispose of the Poppy is at the discretion of the individual.

Most importantly, on November 11th, at the 11th hour, regardless of where you are or what you are doing, bow your head and observe two minutes of silence to honour, respect and demonstrate your gratitude for our brave women and men who have fought for our freedom or died in the line of duty.

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