Remembrance Day is observed throughout the Commonwealth of Nations (formerly the British Commonwealth) on November 11th, the anniversary of the date armistice was signed to end the hostilities of the First World War. The day was inaugurated by King George V in 1919 to remember members of the armed forces who died in the line of duty. Today, in the words of the federal department of Veterans Affairs Canada, the date is one of “remembrance for the men and women who have served, and continue to serve our country during times of war, conflict and peace.”

From 1921 to 1930, the Armistice Day Act provided that Thanksgiving would be observed on Armistice Day, which was fixed by statute on the Monday of the week in which November 11th fell. In 1931, the federal government amended the act to specify that the day be observed on November 11th and be known as Remembrance Day. Today, Remembrance Day is a statutory holiday in all three territories and six of Canada’s provinces (Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, and Nova Scotia being the exceptions). In 2001, the federal government created Merchant Navy Remembrance Day, celebrated on September 3rd, to recognize the contributions and sacrifice of Canada’s merchant mariners during World War II.