Canadian History for Kids!
Sketches of Canada for November 11th!
The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.
Remembrance Day is observed on November 11 to recall the end of World War I on that date in 1918. This Canadian History for Kids, Sketches of Canada, looks at a very special day in our country, Remembrance Day.
The first Armistice Day was conducted in 1919 throughout the Commonwealth. It commemorated the end of the First World War on Monday, November 11, 1918, at 11 a.m.: the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.
In 1931, MP Allan Neill introduced a bill to hold Armistice Day on a fixed day – November 11. During the bill’s introduction, it was decided the word “Remembrance” would be used instead of “Armistice.” The bill passed and Remembrance Day was first conducted on November 11, 1931.
The official national ceremonies are held at the National War Memorial in Ottawa, presided over by the Governor General of Canada, the prime minister, and other dignitaries, and the public. Typically, these events begin with the tolling of the Carillon in the Peace Tower. Officials then lay wreaths at the war memorial, and a bugler plays “Last Post” immediately at 11:00.
In May 2000 the remains of a Canadian soldier who died in France in World War I, but was never been identified, were laid in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the National War Memorial.
Since then, members of the public have laid poppies, letters and photographs on the tomb. Similar services and events are held throughout Canada. Some schools that are open on Remembrance Day hold special assemblies, lessons and presentations on armed conflicts and those who died in them.
The red remembrance poppy has become a familiar symbol of Remembrance Day due to the poem “In Flanders Fields”. The poem was written by Canadian, Colonel John McCrae. These poppies bloomed across some of the worst battlefields of Flanders in World War I, their brilliant red colour an fitting symbol for the blood spilled in the war.
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.
-John McCrae, 1918
And that’s this week Canadian History for Kids, Sketches of our Canada.