Remembrance Day in Canada: November 11th
On the 11th day of the 11th month at the 11th hour of 1918, formal hostilities ended between Germany and Allied Forces, effectively ending the First World War. History had never seen such incredible violence and loss of life. War is terrible, and on that date, the first great war had ended. So, it is only right that we remember the sacrifices of the brave peoples that paid with their lives for the wonderful world we live in.
Remembrance Day was inaugurated a year later in 1919 in England. And in honour of Canadian physician and lieutenant John McRae's celebrated poem "In Flander's Fields" the red poppy was chosen as a symbol to commemorate the war and the armistice that ended it. So on November 11th, countries all over the world, observe the holiday while holding ceremonies to celebrate and remember past combatants from all major conflicts.
Here in Ottawa, the commemoration ceremony begins at the Canadian National War Memorial by Parliament Hill. It is presided over by the Governor General, Prime Minister, and other dignitaries. The Carillion is played out by the bells in the peace tower, to be heard throughout the capital city. After everyone is assembled, the national anthem is sung. The "Last Post" is then played on the bugle moments before 11am. After a minute of silence, speeches are given by high ranking military officials and members of government. From there, the public lays red poppies and wreaths on the tomb of the unknown soldier. It is also worth noting that in 1994, National Aboriginal Veterans Day was inaugurated to recognize the contributions made by indigenous peoples to the wars Canada has been involved in. This day is celebrated on the 8th of November.
The world has changed a lot in the 100 years since the armistice was signed. So Veteran's Affairs Canada runs a program called Canada Remembers, which informs youth who may have never been touched by war, about the importance of the sacrifices made by the veterans who have come before them.
Interesting to think that Canadian youth of today are three full generations removed from the ravages of large scale international war. And it seems the peace we enjoy today may just be contagious. As of 2018 there is no state lead war in the Americas, that's half of the world in relative peace. And the numbers from deaths due to battle have significantly dropped globally. It seems that, cautiously and to some degree, the world is learning from the sacrifices made and lives lost. We're becoming a more peaceful species. Step by step, and lesson by lesson.
We here at Ottawa Flowers take great pride in all of our work. We take special care and attention when it comes to commemorative wreaths and bouquets for all the reasons listed above. It's not lost on us that a flower was chosen to remember conflicts past and lives lost, and we are proud to deliver both internationally and locally to veterans and ceremonies alike. We always go above and beyond in what we do, because our flowers go to people that have fought and strived. Acknowledging them through flowers is an honour. We help bring smiles to those that have fought, so that we can wear ours freely.