“In Flanders Fields the poppies blow.”
At the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month, Canadians across the country take a moment to commemorate our veterans.
Almost 200,000 Canadians were killed or wounded in the First World War. Another 68,000 were killed or wounded in the Second World War. More than 150 Canadians were killed in Afghanistan and at least 130 Canadian soldiers have died in peacekeeping missions.
We’ve gathered a list of facts to mark Remembrance Day. How many do you know? Tell us in the comments, as well as who you are honouring this Remembrance Day.
WATCH: Morinville woman commemorates Remembrance Day with handmade poppies
1. In 1915, John McCrae, a doctor serving in the Canadian Artillery, wrote the famous poem In Flanders Fields.
2. Remembrance Day was first observed throughout the British Commonwealth in 1919.
3. Non-Commonwealth nations that observe Remembrance Day include France, Belgium and Poland.
4. Canada adopted the poppy as the symbol for Remembrance Day in 1921.
5. Poppies were the first flowers to bloom on the battlefields in Belgium and France during the First World War.
6. Poppies flourish near battlefields because the lime from rubble and debris makes for fertile soil.
7. Approximately 21 million poppies are distributed across Canada every year.
8. Replica poppies are sold by the Royal Canadian Legion to provide assistance to veterans.
WATCH: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau lays wreath for Remembrance Day
9. White poppies are worn as a symbol of peace and the wish for an end to all wars.
10. Purple poppies are worn to remember the animal victims of the First World War.
11. The Royal Canadian Legion suggests that the poppy be worn on the left lapel of a garment and as close to the heart as possible.
12. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Passchendaele, which began on July 31, 1917 and was one of the bloodiest battles of the First World War.
13. Tanks had little effect during Passchendaele as the muddy conditions made them unable to move.
14. The Ypres area of Belgium was the first time poison gas was used on the Western Front.
15. Nine Canadians earned the Victoria Cross for fighting at Passchendaele.
16. The last surviving British soldier who saw combat in the First World War was Harry Patch, who lived to 111. He died in 2009.
17. Approximately 4,000 aboriginal Canadians enlisted during the First World War, representing nearly one-third of all aboriginal men eligible to serve.
18. At the outbreak of the Second World War, there were only 37 Canadian vessels registered for foreign voyages. Nearly half were lost to enemy attacks.
19. In total, 516 Canadians died during the Korean War, the third deadliest conflict in Canadian history.
20. Approximately 40,000 Canadians served in the War in Afghanistan before operations came to an end in March 2014.
Who are you honouring this Remembrance Day? Share your message of remembrance with us on social media. Use #RememberThem in your tweet or public Facebook or Instagram post. We may include it in Global News coverage
- Veteran Affairs Canada
- Legion Ontario Command
- War Museum
- Imperial War Museums
- Canadian Living
- York Region
- The Telegraph
- Evening Standard
- The Sun