Remembrance Day, who needs a history refresher?
For most, has been to wear a poppy, and to remember the soldiers that fought in the war for our country. I am embarrassed to say that I don’t know more about Remembrance Day other than that. I don’t really remember what I learned in history class in highschool, I just remember being overwhelmed with different dates in history. I figured maybe other Canadians would be in the same boat. So I took some time this morning to research more on the subject.
Remembrance Day started Nov 11th 1919 to remember the soldiers from the war which started after Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria was assassinated in Sarajevo, Bosnia on June 28th 1914 by 19 year old Bosnian Serb Gavrilo Princip. This triggered a chain of events that resulted in World War One. The war was started by the leaders of Germany and Austria-Hungary. Kaiser Willhelm ll was the German emperor and King of Prussia 1988-1918.
August 1, 1914 – Germany declares war on Russia and Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia. Austria-Hungary and Germany were allies called the Central Powers. Britain, France, Ireland and Russia were part of an alliance called the Triple Entente. Canada was part of the British Empire.
August 3, 1914 – Germany declares war on France, and invades neutral Belgium.
It grew into a war involving 32 countries. … These countries fought against the Central Powers which included Germany, Austria-Hungary, Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria.
Some 619,636 Canadians enlisted with the Canadian Expeditionary Force during the war, and approximately 424,000 served overseas. Of these men and women 59,544 died during the war.
The total number of military and civilian casualties in World War One was more than 41 million: there were over 18 million deaths and 23 million wounded, ranking it among the deadliest conflicts in human history.
Canadians battled and won:
Battle of Neuve-Chapelle March 10-12 1915
Battles of the Sommes September 15-18 1916
Battle of Vimy Ridge April 9-12 1917
Battle of Passchendaele (3rd Battle of Ypres) October 26th-Nov 10th 1917
Battle of Arras August 26th -September 3rd 1918
Canal-du-Nord and Cambrai September 27th-Oct 11 1918
The Battle at Vimy Ridge was a defining moment in Canadian history, for it was the Canadians that took down the Germans. This moment was when Canada became a nation. Sir Arthur Currie, who led the Canadians, was quoted to have been one of our greatest military leaders — a man who did what was necessary to help win a meat-grinder war, while always seeking ways to protect his troops from outright slaughter. He died in 1933 at age 57. Tens of thousands attended his funeral, the largest for any Canadian to that point in the country’s history.
At the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, the Great War ends. At 5am that morning, Germany signed an armistice agreement with the Allies just outside Compiegne, France. World War II would start 21 years later.
Following World War 1 poppies have become a symbol of remembrance of soldiers who died during the war. Because poppies grew in the cemeteries in flanders fields where the soldiers were buried. Poppies have long been used as a symbol of sleep, peace, and death: Sleep because the opium extracted from them is a sedative, and death because of the common blood-red colour of the red poppy.
So this Remembrance Day be proud to be Canadian and honour those that fought for this spectacular country. Know that Canadian troops played a big role in World War One. It was a defining moment in Canadian history, when Canada became a Nation.