On the 11th day of the 11th month at the 11th hour Canadians across the nation pause for 2 minutes of silence to reflect and honour those Canadians who served, those who are currently serving and those who lost their lives serving their country. 

Significance of November 11th

World War 1 began on August 4, 1914 just over a month after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand on June 28, 1914. Although the Archduke’s assassination was the immediate cause of the War, historians suggest that underlying causes such as nationalism, imperialism, militarism, and alliances were long-term causes of World War 1*.  November 11, 1918 marked the official end to the hostilities of World War 1 when Germany formally surrendered by signing the armistice.

Source: BBC

Significance of the Poppy

To show our respect to our veterans Canadians wear a Poppy in the weeks leading up to Remembrance Day. The Poppy is a flower that grows over the former battlefields of France & Belgium as well as over the graveyards where soldiers were buried. John McCrae, a Canadian doctor who was serving in the military during World War 1, penned the famous poem “In Flanders Fields” on May 3, 1915. After World War 1 a French woman suggested women and children in devastated areas of France could produce the poppies for sale in support of wounded Veterans, although it was not until November of 1921 when they were first distributed in Canada.  

First World War Statistics**

Canada’s Population: 8 million

Canadians who served (men & women): 630,000

Who went overseas: 425,000

Canadian killed: 60,661

Canadians wounded: 172,000

Major battles (Canadian involvement): 

  • 2nd Ypres (1915)
  • St. Eloi (1916)
  • Mont Sorrel (1916)
  • Somme (1916)
  • Vimy Ridge (1917)
  • Hill 70 (1917)
  • Passchendaele (1917)
  • Amiens (1918)

**Source: The Canadian Encyclopedia