Canada Marks Remembrance Day

Poppies. Image: Benoit Aubry
Poppies. Image: Benoit Aubry

The hostilities of World War I officially ended at 11:00 on November 11, 1918. In others words, at 11:00 on the 11th day of the 11th month.

That is why in Canada and many other countries, Remembrance Day is celebrated on November 11 each year, with a moment of silence at 11:00.

(World War I itself officially ended on June 28, 1919.)

During the moment of silence, Canadians remember and think about the men and women in the military who have died fighting to protect the country’s citizens. Canadians think about the people who are currently in uniform, those who have passed, and the country’s veterans.

Canadians have even more to think about this year.

Recent tragic events in Ottawa and in Quebec last month led to the death of two Canadian soldiers. Canadians are thinking of Corporal Nathan Cirillo and Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, both of whom were killed in uniform, as representatives–and defenders–of Canada.

Many people wear a poppy pin on their lapel to mark Remembrance Day. The poppy is a symbol of Remembrance Day, from the famous poem “In Flander’s Fields,” by Canadian Lt.-Col. John McCrae.

Related links
Teachers can access free teaching materials on the Remembrance Day website here.

Our TKN article about the tragic events in Ottawa last month.

By Kathleen Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
How will you recognize Remembrance Day? What will you think about during the moment of silence?

Reading Prompt: Making Meaning/Interpreting Texts
The poppy has become a symbol of Remembrance Day, which is described in the following poem by Sir John McCrae:

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
between the crosses, row on row,
that mark our place; and in the sky
the larks, still bravely singing, fly
scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
we lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
loved and were loved, and now we lie
in Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
to you from failing hands we throw
the torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
we shall not sleep, though poppies grow
in Flanders fields.

What images come to your mind when you read this poem?

Use stated and implied ideas in texts to make inferences and construct meaning (OME, Reading: 1.5)

Develop and explain interpretations of increasingly complex or difficult texts using stated and implied ideas from the texts to support their interpretations (OME, Reading: 1.5).

Language Feature: Adjectives
Soldiers are described as heroes because they put their lives in danger in order to protect their country. What other adjectives can you use to describe people in the military?