Remembrance Day (November 11th) is a national holiday that commemorates the armistice signed between the Allies and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front (which marks the very day that World War One ended in 1918), which took effect at 11:00 am — the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.”
Every year on November 11th, Canadians pause in a moment of silence for two minutes to honour and remember the men and women who have served, and continue to serve Canada during times of war, conflict and peace. We remember the more than 2,300,000 Canadians who have served throughout our nation’s history and the more than 118,000 who made the ultimate sacrifice.
The poppy is the symbol of Remembrance Day. Replica poppies are sold by the Royal Canadian Legion to provide assistance to Veterans.
Remembrance Day is a federal statutory holiday in Canada. It is also a statutory holiday in three territories (Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut) and in six provinces (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador).
The national ceremony is held at the National War Memorial in Ottawa. The Governor General of Canada presides over the ceremony. It is also attended by the Prime Minister, other government officials, representatives of Veterans’ organizations, diplomatic representatives, other dignitaries, Veterans as well as the general public.
In advance of the ceremony, long columns of Veterans, Canadian Armed Forces members, RCMP officers, and cadets march to the memorial lead by a pipe band and a colour guard. At the end of the ceremony, they march away to officially close the ceremony.
The United States used to commemorate Armistice Day on November 11. However, in 1954 they changed the name to Veterans Day.
Reference: “Remembrance Day”. https://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembrance/information-for/educators/quick-facts/remembrance-day. Retrieved on October 21st, 2019.
Here is my top 9 book recommendations for Remembrance Day:
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1. Bunny the Brave War Horse by Elizabeth MacLeod
It is based on the true story of a police horse named Bunny and his riders, brothers Bud and Thomas Dundas, sent to the European front as part of the 9th Battery Canadian Field Artillery.This title is also available in French as Bunny, cheval de guerre.
2. The Eleventh Hour by Jacques Goldstyn
Jim and Jules are childhood friends, born on the same day in the same village. All their lives, Jim has been first — born two minutes before Jules, always faster, always stronger. When the First World War breaks out in Europe, the two young men enlist in the fight with 30,000 other Canadians.
3. Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear by Lindsey Mattick
During World War I, Captain Harry Colebourn, a Canadian veterinarian on his way to serve with cavalry units in Europe, rescued a bear cub in White River, Ontario. He named the bear Winnie, after his hometown of Winnipeg, and he took the bear to war.
4. Innocent Heroes: Stories of Animals in the First World War by Sigmund Brouwer
This book consists of eight connected fictional stories about a Canadian platoon in WW1. The Storming Normans have help from some very memorable animals: we meet a dog who warns soldiers in the trench of a gas attack, a donkey whose stubbornness saves the day, a cat who saves soldiers from rat bites, and many more. Each story is followed by nonfiction sections that tell the true story of these animals from around the world and of the Canadian soldiers who took Vimy Ridge.
5. A Poppy is to Remember by Heather Patterson
Moving text coupled with stunning illustrations by Governor General’s Award-winning artist Ron Lightburn explain the symbolism behind the poppy.
6. Proud as a Peacock, Brave as a Lion by Jane Barclay
Much has been written about war and remembrance, but very little of it has been for young children. As questions come from a young grandchild, his grandpa talks about how, as a very young man, he was as proud as a peacock in uniform, busy as a beaver on his Atlantic crossing, and brave as a lion charging into battle. Soon, the old man’s room is filled with an imaginary menagerie as the child thinks about different aspects of wartime. But as he pins medals on his grandpa’s blazer and receives his own red poppy in return, the mood becomes more somber.
7. What Does Peace Feel Like? by Vladimir Radunsky
What does that word really mean? Ask children from around the world, and this is what they say….
8. The Enemy: A Book About Peace by Davide Cali and Serge Bloch
In this moving picture book, award-winning collaborators Davide Cali and Serge Bloch present a fable for our time about two lonely soldiers facing each other across a barren battlefield. What each discovers, as the story unfolds, is that the enemy is not a faceless beast, but rather a real person with family, friends, and dreams.
9. A Bear in War by Harry Endrulat and Stephanie Innes
In 1915, 37-year-old Lawrence Browning Rogers enlisted in the Fifth Canadian Mounted Rifles, leaving behind his wife, two children, and their farm in East Farnham, Quebec. Over the next two and a half years, the family exchanged hundreds of letters, and daughter Aileen sent her beloved Teddy overseas to keep her father safe.
Founder of Mind Growth Education