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A Day Set Aside for Those Who Made the Ultimate Sacrifice for the Freedom We All Enjoy Today.
On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, Canadians are asked to pause in memory of the thousands of men and women who sacrificed their lives in military service. These brave men and women fought in the First World War, the Second World War, in Korea, and Afghanistan. Remembrance Day commemorates the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiegne, France. This took effect at eleven o’clock in the morning – the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” of 1918.
This dates back to the Napoleanic wars, when a writer saw a field of poppies growing over the graves of fallen soldiers. Canadian Lt.-Col. John McCrae was inspired to write the poem, In Flanders Fields, during the Battle of Ypres in 1915, on sighting the poppies growing beside the grave of a close friend who had died in battle.The poem was a great inspiration in adopting the poppy as the Flower of Remembrance in Canada, France, the U.S., Britain and the Commonwealth countries. They were first distributed in 1921. The proceeds from the sale of the millions of poppies are an important source of revenue that goes toward helping ex-servicemen and women to help them buy food, obtain shelter, and medical attention. Wear it proudly!In Flanders Fields By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918) Canadian Army
Between the crosses row on rowThat mark our place, and in the skyThe larks, still bravely singing, flyScarce heard amid the guns below.We are the dead. Short days agoWe lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glowLoved and were loved, and now we lieIn Flanders Fields.Take up our quarrel with the foe:To you from failing hands we throwThe torch; be yours to hold it high.If ye break faith with us who dieWe shall not sleep, though poppies growIn Flanders Fields.Two minutes before the armistice went into effect, Pt. George Lawrence Price was felled by a bullet at 10:58 a.m. and would become the final Commonwealth soldier, and the last of more than 66,000 Canadians to be killed in the First World War.Between the declaration of the Second World War in September, 1938 and the end of the war in 1945, Canadians fought in Dieppe, Normandy, the North Atlantic, Hong Kong, during the liberation of Italy, and in many other sea and land battles. More than one million men and women from Canada and Newfoundland (the province was till a colony of Britain at that time) served in the army, air force, and navy. More than 47,000 did not come home.WW II – Gravemarker at Vimy ridgeOur Canadian troops made extreme sacrifices and played a critical role in the D-Day invasion of 1944 at the Battle of Normandy, which was a major turning point. More than 5,000 were killed in the invasion of France. Our Canadian army also played a significant role in the liberation of the Netherlands, ending in 1945. We forged a strong friendship between the two countries that lasts to this day.
In the Korean War 26,792 Canadians served between 1950 and 1953 at the battles of Hill 355 and Hill 187. They fought under horrific conditions fighting in swamps, through torrential rain and snow, in rice fields, and both in the air and at sea.
Our brave men and women continue to serve our country and Canada has increased its military involvement in Afghanistan since the Taliban regime fell in 2001.
So On November 11th, at the 11th hour, please… stop your busy lives and take a moment to reflect and remember those who sacrificed their lives in these horrendous wars. These brave men and women made the ultimate sacrifice for us – for the very freedom we all enjoy today.
Buy a poppy.. and wear it proudly!