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Remembrance Day in Canada
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Remembrance Day in Canada
Poppy on the gravestone of a Canadian soldier.

In Canada, Remembrance Day is held on November 11th to commemorate all wars. Canadians wear a poppy on their left lapel (closer to the heart), in memory of the dead. Across Canada two minutes’ silence is observed at 11am, the national anthem is sung, flowers are laid on memorials and ceremonies are held commemorating those who died.

The poppy

At the end of the First World War, a French woman suggested women and children should produce poppies made of paper and sell them to raise money for wounded veterans in the devasted regions of France. In Canada, as in Britain, the poppies became the "Flower of Remembrance" in 1921 because they were among the only flowers still managing to grow on the battlefields. This marked the beginning of a tradition that continues today in different parts of the world. In 1915, the Canadian military doctor John McCrae wrote the poem In Flanders Fields, in which he mentions the poppy growing on the battlefields. It became the symbol of remembrance of those who died fighting for peace. It symbolises the horrors of the war and the preciousness of peace. In Canada, the poppies were traditionally made by disabled veterans.

Two minutes

Another very symbolic way to remember the war is the two-minute silence. Each year during commemoration ceremonies, two minutes of silence are observed. Time is taken to stop and think about those who lost their lives in the struggle for freedom. This is meant to honour their sacrifice and their memory.
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This day in history
Today: 22 January 2019
Then: 22 January 1941

British and Australians take Tobruk in North Africa

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