The Importance of Remembrance Day

November 5, 2019

Every year on November 11, we commemorate the end of the first World War, remembering and honouring those who served and sacrificed in the line of duty.

Today, it’s hard to imagine the world we live in any different from what we know, the rights and freedoms that shape our lives thanks to those who came before us. As time passes, these rights and freedoms become more innate and taken for granted. So how do we continue to relay the importance of Remembrance Day to future generations? How do we help them understand how fortunate we are, recognize the true weight of the sacrifices that were made for us and instill the importance of continuing to pass on this understanding and recognition to the generations that will come after them?

Our best advice? Keep it simple and honest, lead by example and share why Remembrance Day is important to you and your family.

Why we celebrate Remembrance Day.

Remembrance Day honours the men and women who fought for our future. Close to 61,000 Canadians lost their lives and more than 172,000 returned home wounded.

Many Canadians have a grandparent, great-grandparent or great-great-grandparent who served during the war. Share your memories of family members and those you knew by creating a tradition in their honour.

Why we take a moment of silence.

At 11:00 am on November 11, we bow our heads in a moment of silence to acknowledge the sacrifice of those who gave their lives for us and our country as well as to recognize the courage and bravery of those who continue serve.

The sacrifices of those who came before us shaped our nation and the service of those in our Canadian Armed Forces today protects our future. This moment of silence is a time to say thank you for all the things you love about Canada.

Why we wear a poppy.

During the war, soil in European countries became covered in lime from debris and rubble. As a result, poppies blossomed around gravesites. In May of 1915, a doctor in the Canadian artillery named Major John McCrae wrote a poem called In Flanders’ Fields. The poppy is referenced in the poem to signify remembrance of those who were lost as well as new growth.  

Today, the Poppy Campaign, a program run by the Royal Canadian Legion helps to provide assistance to Veterans and their families in many ways. To learn more about the Royal Canadian Legion, visit their branch locator to find a Legion near you.

Even when you keep it simple and relatable and do your best to lead by example, it can still be hard to explain the significance of a day as important as Remembrance Day. For younger kids, make it fun and engaging, crafts are a great opportunity for hands-on learning. Have a pre-teen or teenager interested in how they can be more involved? Check out the Saskatchewan Air Cadet League to learn more about programs available to youth ages 12-18.

It doesn’t matter how you choose to pass on the importance of Remembrance Day, what matters most, is that you do.

-Paige Sandvold is the Content Manager on the Brand & Digital Platforms Team at Directwest.