A flower, a poem, a campaign
Remembrance Day on November 11 commemorates the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of the year 1918. This is when the Armistice was signed and is also the date marking the official end of the First World War. To commemorate this day, you are invited to participate in the annual Poppy Campaign, the Royal Canadian Legion’s main source of fundraising, which allows this organization to continue its work with veterans in need.
Nowadays, Remembrance Day includes all wars that have occurred since the Great War. Indeed, there has not been a single day since 1918 that has not been marked by a war or armed conflict somewhere on this planet. So, to put an end to all wars, people across the country wear poppies in their lapels and decorate war memorials with wreaths and bunches of poppies on November 11.
Why poppies? Because this red flower recalls the famous poem “In Flanders Fields”, written by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae during the First World War. This is the most frequently read and quoted poem about war. It is the mention of poppies in the first and last verses that has turned this flower into an emblem of remembrance and a symbol of new growth in the devastation left by war.
We must all remember the terrible toll wrought by the First World War: the death of 16.5 million people, including 9.7 million military personnel. The Second World War, the bloodiest conflict in our history, saw the deaths of 60 million souls, one third of which were military personnel.
Please visit www.veterans.gc.ca for more information about the Remembrance Day campaign.