As you might know it’s Remembrance Day this Wednesday, November 11. The holiday is also known as Poppy Day or Armistice Day. But what is Remembrance Day you might ask? 15149724183_8c8974ff5d_bWell, basically it’s a day to remember all Canadians who sacrificed their lives during World War I and World War II. On that day Canadians commemorate the fallen members of the armed forces like soldiers, sailors and airmen. The date and the time on which the festivities are taking place certainly have a special meaning: The hostilities of World War I ended officially on the eleventh day of November 1918, in the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour. So every year at that time is at least one minute of silence to honor all those fallen soldiers. Connected to that day most Canadians wear a red poppy the weeks before November 11. This symbol evolved due to a poem written by a Canadian writer and soldier John McCrae, called “In Flanders Fields”. It’s one of the most famous pieces of Canadian literature.

15770509952_469a5f7876_bIn remembrance of the soldiers fallen in the line of duty Vancouver had a parade last year. Our PR-Coordinators participated and they were absolutely fascinated. They wrote a review about that day; here is a short extract about how they experienced it: “A lot of people met up to show their respect and support […]. It wasn’t just a parade. We could also hear the sounds of shots being fired from cannons; we could see old 2nd World War airplanes flying overhead, poems were being read out loud… For sure this was an unforgettable experience.”

This year the Remembrance Day Ceremony and Parade will start on Wednesday, November 11 at 9:45am at the Victory Square Cenotaph at West Hastings Street and Cambie Street. For more information to the Parade, click here.

INTERNeX Canada: Why do we wear the Red Poppy on Remembrance Day?

“In Flanders Fields”

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Canadian military doctor and artillery commander Major John McCrae wrote this poem when a lieutenant friend was killed on May 2nd, 1915 near Ypres, Belgium. In Canada, we have to recite this poem every single year at school around the month of November and I can still recite it from my memory now.

That’s how important today is to Canadians and the Commonwealth countries as they commemorate their armed forces who died in the line of duty in the First World War and beyond.

Inspired by this poem, poppies are worn today as a symbol of the blood spilled in the battles. The battlefields of Flanders were some of the worst, in terms of lives lost, in World War I and Poppies continue to bloom across these fields today. Poppy wreaths are laid on the memorials at Remembrance ceremonies held today all over the world.

So take the time today to wear a poppy and attend a Remembrance Day ceremony today.



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