2000 Remembrance Day Poster

How we Remember

On Remembrance Day - November 11 - at 11:00 a.m., we pause for "2 Minutes of Silence" to honour the men and women who served our country for the cause of freedom.

We wear the poppy, which was adopted for symbolic purposes after the First World War, as a reminder of those who died fighting for peace.

The Peacekeeping Monument in Ottawa recognizes the service of Canadian Forces. It is the first monument of its kind in the world.

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the National War Memorial in Ottawa is a Government of Canada millennium initiative and represents our country’s commitment to peace and freedom in the past, in the present and in the future.

Be part of the Action

Attend ceremonies at your local cenotaph or watch the national Remembrance Day services on television.

Invite to your club, society or school - as speakers or as guests-veterans.

Plan a candlelight tribute to mark a special anniversary of a regiment, air force group or naval association in your community.

Visit a veterans’ or seniors’ residence to talk to senior citizens about their lives and experiences during times of war.

Hold a series of readings during the Week on books by or about veterans and the wars.

Consult Veterans Affairs Canada’s Web site regularly for news and information on Veterans’ Week activities.

Did you know that......?

Winnie the Pooh dates back to the First World War when a young soldier from Winnipeg adopted a black bear cub that travelled with him overseas and was later left in the care of the London Zoo. It was at the zoo that A.A. Milne’s son, Christopher Robin, befriended Winnie who inspired the popular children’s books.

John McCrae served as a brigade surgeon during the First World War. He took with him his horse, Bonfire, and sent his young nieces and nephews letters supposedly written by Bonfire and signed with a hoof print.

During the First World War, boys aged 15 and over were put to work on farms to help meet the severe labour shortage.

During the Second World War, Canadian children gave up their toys to the war effort for scrap metal to build armoured vehicles, and Boy Scouts and Girl Guides conducted many fund-raising activities.

When the HMCS Charlottetown fell victim to a U-Boat attack during the Battle of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, seaman John Garland went below to save the ship’s mascot Screech - a dog to which he was devoted - and perished in the attempt.

Women roll up their sleeves

More than 3,000 women served as nursing sisters in the First World War. They were known as the "bluebirds" by the soldiers for whom they cared because of their blue cotton dresses and white veils. Women who worked with lumberjacks and loggers during the Second World War were called "lumberjills".

In 1942, the ferry Caribou was torpedoed by a U-Boat in Cabot Strait killing the only female member of the Newfoundland Merchant Navy, Bride Fitzpatrick, and the only Canadian Nursing Sister, Agnes Wilkie, to die due to direct enemy action during the Second World War.

In Service to the public

Brigadier Magistrate Oliver Milton Martin, a Mohawk from the Six Nations Grand River Reserve, was a veteran of the First and Second World Wars. He reached the highest military rank ever held by an Aboriginal in Canada and was the first Native to hold a judicial post in Ontario.

Georges Philias Vanier who served during the First World War, was a founding member and commander of the Royal 22nd Regiment. He became Governor General of Canada in 1959.

Lester B. Pearson, a First World War veteran, former minister of External Affairs and Canadian Prime Minister, proposed sending an international force to the Suez under the United Nations flag. In 1957, Mr. Pearson was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Gilles Lamontagne, a distinguished military officer and a prisoner of war during the Second World War, became Mayor of Québec City, Minister of two federal departments and Lieutenant-Governor of Quebec.

Some extraordinary families

Mrs. Wood watched as eleven of her twelve children left to serve in the First World War. Only two sons came back without any injuries. Known as Winnipeg’s War Mother, Mrs. Wood received King George V’s Silver Jubilee Medal (1935).

Aboriginal veteran John McLeod served overseas in the First World War. Six of his sons and one of his daughters enlisted in the Second World War. Two sons gave their lives in battle and two others were wounded. John’s wife, Mary, became the first Aboriginal woman to be named Canada’s Silver Cross Mother.

Canadian Heroes

Flying ace Billy Bishop was awarded the Victoria Cross and several other decorations for his daring exploits during the First World War. He is credited with shooting down 72 enemy planes.

During the Second World War, Tommy Prince served in what was nicknamed by the enemy "the Devil’s Brigade". In the 1950s, he served in Korea. In all, he received 11 medals and became one of the most decorated veterans of our time.

Warrant Officer Frances MacTaggart served in peacekeeping missions in Cyprus, Cambodia and the former Yugoslavia. In 1993, she pulled 15 passengers and the pilot out of a burning helicopter before it exploded. She was awarded a Medal of Bravery for her heroic actions.

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