Canada’s first Remembrance Day service was held on November 11th, 1919, at 11 o’clock.  It began as a way to honour those people who had given their lives in World War I, more than 65,000 of them.  A minute of silence across the country marked the end of the war exactly one year before, at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.  Originally called Armistice Day, the name was officially changed to Remembrance Day in 1931.

Although people believed that war on such a huge scale could never happen again, WWII broke out in Europe in 1939 and lasted until 1945.  Remembrance Days in Canada added to their honour roll more than one million Canadians who served in WWII.  Some came home safely, but many died at Dieppe and other battlegrounds far from home.  Others were lost in the skies and at sea.

At this time, we also honour the nurses who comforted and healed the wounded… the farm, factory, and office workers who did their part in the war effort… the families who scrimped on food and skimped on fuel, and went without luxuries so that soldiers would be better clothed and fed… the wives and mothers who packed parcels for loved ones overseas ( hand-knitted socks, chocolate bars, letters… )… those who opened their doors to the awful news that a brother, a son, or a husband was missing in action, or had been killed…

But the Second World War wasn’t the last.  From 1950 to 1953 Canadian Troops fought in the Korean War.  There was the Second Boer War, and then the Afghanistan War… we remember their efforts on Remembrance Day as well.

Together on Remembrance Day, we take the time to think of all those Canadians who have given and continue to give so much, for all of us… We pledge to remember what they fought for, what they continue to stand for ~ freedom and a world at peace.  In one special minute of silence, we remember.

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