Community & Current Events

11 interesting facts about Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day facts

Poppies on a wreath.
Photography by Getty Images: NovaBirth
Author: Canadian Living

Community & Current Events

11 interesting facts about Remembrance Day

How many poppies are distributed every year? When was Remembrance Day first observed? We look at these facts and more in honour of Remembrance Day.

1. Originally called Armistice Day

Remembrance Day was originally called “Armistice Day” and was first observed in 1919 throughout the British Commonwealth.

2. 11/11/11

Remembrance Day is observed on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. This commemorates the armistice agreement that ended the First World War on Monday, November 11, 1918 at 11 a.m.

3. Used to be held on a Monday

From 1921 to 1930, Remembrance Day (then called Armistice Day) was held on whichever Monday in which the week of November 11 fell. In 1931 a bill passed by the House of Commons changed the name and day of the commemorative holiday.

4. "In Flanders Field" writer born in Ontario

Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, famous Canadian army doctor who wrote "In Flanders Fields", was born in Guelph, Ontario on November 30, 1872.

5. Poppies grow near graves

The poppy was one of the first flowers to bloom on the battlefields in Belgium and France during the First World War. The lime from rubble and debris make a fertile ground for poppies to grow.

6. The poppy is an international symbol of Remembrance

The red poppy is the symbol of Remembrance Day around the world. Replica poppies are sold by the Royal Canadian Legion to provide assistance to Veterans.

7. 18,000,000 poppies

Approximately 18,000,000 poppies are distributed around the world every year.

8. Poppies actually have black centres

The centres of poppies have changed from black to green and then back to black again. They are black today in order to accurately reflect the way a poppy looks.

9. Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is in Ottawa

Canada's Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is located at the National War Memorial in Ottawa's Confederation Square, and it contains the remains of an unidentified soldier who died in the First World War.

10. 1.5 million Canadians have served in our military

More than 1,500,000 Canadians have served to protect our nation throughout history and more than 118,000 made the ultimate sacrifice.

11. Canadian women played, and continue to play, an important role in Canadian military history

More than 50,000 Canadian women served in the military and as nursing sisters in the Second World War, and close to 3,000 Nursing Sisters served in the First World War.

Last updated: November 11, 2016


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Community & Current Events

11 interesting facts about Remembrance Day