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The Drumheller Mail - - CLASSIFIEDS -

Cana­di­ans rec­og­nize Re­mem­brance Day, orig­i­nally called Ar­mistice Day, ev­ery 11 Novem­ber at 11 a.m. It marks the end of hos­til­i­ties dur­ing the First World War and an op­por­tu­nity to re­call all those who have served in the na­tion’s de­fence.

Ar­mistice Day

Ar­mistice Day was in­au­gu­rated in 1919 through­out much of the Bri­tish Em­pire, but on the sec­ond Mon­day in Novem­ber. In 1921, the Cana­dian Par­lia­ment passed an Ar­mistice Day bill to ob­serve cer­e­monies on the first Mon­day in the week of 11 Novem­ber, but this com­bined the event with the Thanks­giv­ing Day hol­i­day. For much of the 1920s, Cana­di­ans ob­served the date with lit­tle pub­lic demon­stra­tion. Vet­er­ans and their fam­i­lies gath­ered in churches and around lo­cal memo­ri­als, but ob­ser­vances in­volved few other Cana­di­ans. In 1928, some prom­i­nent cit­i­zens, many of them vet­er­ans, pushed for greater recog­ni­tion and to sep­a­rate the re­mem­brance of wartime sac­ri­fice from the Thanks­giv­ing hol­i­day. In 1931, the fed­eral gov­ern­ment de­creed that the newly named Re­mem­brance Day would be ob­served on 11 Novem­ber and moved Thanks­giv­ing Day to a dif­fer­ent date. Re­mem­brance Day would em­pha­size the mem­ory of fallen sol­diers in­stead of the po­lit­i­cal and mil­i­tary events lead­ing to vic­tory in the First World War.

11 Novem­ber

Re­mem­brance Day re­ju­ve­nated in­ter­est in re­call­ing the war and mil­i­tary sac­ri­fice, at­tract­ing thou­sands to cer­e­monies in cities large and small across the coun­try. It re­mained a day to hon­our the fallen, but tra­di­tional ser­vices also wit­nessed oc­ca­sional calls to re­mem­ber the hor­ror of war and to em­brace peace. Re­mem­brance Day cer­e­monies were usu­ally held at com­mu­nity ceno­taphs and war memo­ri­als, or some­times at schools or in other pub­lic places. Two min­utes of si­lence, the play­ing of the Last Post, the recita­tion of In Flan­ders Fields, and the wear­ing of pop­pies quickly be­came as­so­ci­ated with the cer­e­mony. Re­mem­brance Day has since gone through pe­ri­ods of in­tense observation and pe­ri­odic de­cline. The 50th an­niver­sary of the end of the Sec­ond World War in 1995 marked a no­tice­able up­surge of pub­lic in­ter­est, which has not ebbed in re­cent years. It is now a na­tional hol­i­day for fed­eral and many pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment work­ers, and the largest cer­e­monies are at­tended in ma­jor cities by tens of thou­sands. The cer­e­mony at the Na­tional War Memo­rial in Ot­tawa is na­tion­ally tele­vised, while most me­dia out­lets – in­clud­ing news­pa­pers, mag­a­zines, ra­dio and tele­vi­sion sta­tions, and in­ter­net sources – run spe­cial fea­tures, in­ter­views, or in­ves­tiga­tive re­ports on mil­i­tary his­tory or re­mem­brance-re­lated themes.

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