November 11, 2001 will be a particularly significant Remembrance Day. As Canadian Armed Forces head to the Middle East, we cannot help but remember the wars in which so many Canadians served.
Remembrance Day honours Canadians who died in the First and Second World Wars and the Korean War. Originally called Armistice Day the first Remembrance Day was conducted in 1919 throughout the Commonwealth and commemorated the end of the First World War on Monday, November 11, 1918 at 11 a.m.: the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.
The poppy is the symbol of Remembrance Day. Replica poppies are sold by the Royal Canadian Legion to raise money for needy veterans. The poppy first drew attention during the Napoleonic Wars as the mysterious flower that bloomed over the graves of fallen soldiers. In the 20th Century, the poppy was again noticed after soils in France and Belgium became rich in lime from rubble during the First World War. In 1915, Ontario native John McCrae, a doctor serving with the Canadian Forces Artillery, recorded this phenomenon in his famous poem In Flanders Fields .
The story of In Flanders Fields is told in an excellent book for young people by Canadian Linda Granfield as well as in a National Film Board video entitled: John McCraes War: In Flanders Fields. These and other books and videos are listed in a special Remembrance Day booklist which can be found with the Remembrance Day display at the Whistler Public Library.
For more information visit the Veterans Affairs Web site: www.vac-acc.gc.ca