Toronto Remembrance Day Observances
In 1918 the armistice that ended World War I came into force, bringing to an end four years of hostilities that saw 60,000 Canadians die at sea, in the air, and on foreign soil. . 'The war to end all wars' ended on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. On that day each year, Canadians are asked to pause and remember the thousands of men and women who sacrificed their lives fighting for freedom and democracy during the First World War, the Second World War, the Korean War and during peacekeeping missions.
The National War Memorial in Ottawa, where national Remembrance Day observances are held each November 11th, was commemorated in November 1938. Ironically, this was less than a year before the start of World War II.
Remembrance is the cornerstone of The Royal Canadian Legion's (RCL) work in Canada. The Poppy Campaign is a major source of funds used to assist veterans, ex-service people and their dependents. In essence, the purposes and objects of the RCL were born of the need to promote unity and further the spirit of comradeship and mutual help among all who have served. The Legion strives to pass on these traditions to the families and descendants of our ex-service personnel..
In Flanders Fields
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.
- John McCrae
Canada's Wartime Military
In the First World War, almost 620,000 Canadians enlisted to fight in the First World War from 1914-1918, and 66,000 died. During the course of the First World War, Canada's naval service grew to a force of 9,000 men and 100 ships.
In the Second World War 60,000 men and women enlisted in Canada's & Newfoundland's armed forces in the first month (September 1939) after the declaration of war. Second World War: More than one million served and approximately 47,000 died. Canadians lost their lives fighting in Dieppe, Normandy, the North Atlantic, defending Hong Kong, during the liberation of Italy, and in many other important air, sea and land campaigns. At the end of the war, Canada had the third-largest fleet in the world, after the U.S. and the U.K. 23 Canadian ships were sunk by German U-Boats in the Battle of St. Lawrence alone.
Today, there are 62,000 military personnel including 9,500 sailors, 19,500 soldiers, 14,500 air force personnel and 20,000 administrative and support personnel. There are also about 22,000 reservists. More than 1,200 members of the Armed Forces are deployed overseas. There are 30 surface ships, four submarines and 9,500 sailors in Canada's navy.
Remembrance Day resources:
- National Military Cemetery
- Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
- Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (in Vimy, France)
- Royal Canadian Legion
- War Memorials Across Canada
- Remembrance Day Teacher's Guide (Royal Canadian Legion)
- Remembrance Day (CBC News)
- Canadian War Museum
- Canada in World War I - The Forgotten War (NFB)
- Canada in World War II - On All Fronts (NFB)
- Canadian Normandy Memorial: Juno Beach Project
- WWII British Commonwealth Air Training Plan: CATP Air Museum (Brandon, MB)
- Lester B. Pearson & The United Nations as Peacekeepers (see CBC, Top 10 Canadians)
- Canadian peacekeepers
- UN Peacekeeping Operations
- Canadian Association of Veterans of United Nations Peacekeeping