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Remembrance Day in Vancouver

Remembrance Day in Vancouver

Commemorated on November 11th throughout Metro Vancouver, Remembrance Day is a day when Canadians remember past wars and the sacrifices made by veterans.

COVID-19 AND 2020

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, Remembrance Day events won’t be happening as usual in 2020. In some cases they will be cancelled, and in other cases they will take place online. There may even still be a few smaller live events, although likely not for the general public to just show up at and attend.

Exact details about specific Lower Mainland events are to be confirmed. For more information about specific Remembrance Day ceremonies see our article about Lower Mainland Remembrance Day Events. For general information about Remembrance Day, the holiday, see below.

Remembrance Day

As a national holiday, Remembrance Day isn’t a victory celebration, but rather a time to reflect about the horrors of war and the sacrifices made by the men and women that have fought for Canada and the defense of other countries.

In 2020 Remembrance Day occurs on Wednesday, November 11. In a typical year (when there isn’t the coronavirus), ceremonies commemorating the day take place throughout the Lower Mainland. Of note, this year marks the 76th anniversary of D-Day and the invasion of Normandy by the Allies in the Second World War.

As a statutory holiday, schools, government offices and most businesses are closed on the day.

Looking for information about Remembrance Day events in different communities? Then check out our articles about services in the following places:

Burnaby | Coquitlam | Maple RidgeNew Westminster | City of North Vancouver | City of North Vancouver | Port Coquitlam | Port Moody | Richmond | Surrey (Cloverdale) | Vancouver (Victory Square) | Vancouver (Stanley Park) | West Vancouver | Other Lower Mainland Locations

Remembrance Day Crowds at Victory Square
Thousands of People at the Ceremony in Vancouver

Remembrance Day in the Lower Mainland

Remembrance Day Activities IconIn the morning on November 11th each year, Remembrance Day ceremonies take place across Vancouver and the Lower Mainland. Solemn memorial services also occur at cenotaphs and other locations throughout Canada and most British Commonwealth countries, as well as in other places in the world.

Probably the largest Remembrance Day event in the Lower Mainland is the one in downtown Vancouver at the Cenotaph in Victory Square. Other large ones take place in North Vancouver (at Victoria Park), Surrey, Richmond and elsewhere. For more information on these and other event locations, see Remembrance Day Ceremonies.

Vancouver Remembrance Day Parade
Remembrance Day Parade in Downtown Vancouver

What Happens at a Remembrance Day Ceremony

Remembrance Day ceremonies usually include a gathering at a park or cenotaph, a memorial service, and the laying of wreaths by veterans and dignitaries.

At most Remembrance Day events there is also a parade, a marching band, bagpipes played by men in kilts, and RCMP mounted police officers, cadets and veterans all in their uniforms. There is also the singing of the national anthem – O Canada – the playing of a bugle, and sometimes a prayer. As November is one of Vancouver’s rainiest months, there are usually also lots of umbrellas.

To support veterans, people buy and wear poppies, which are plastic red flowers, and for which donation proceeds go to supporting veterans.

Traditionally, Canadians mark two minutes of silence at 11 am on November 11th each year to mark the end of World War I, and to remember sacrifices made in other wars since. Remembrance Day is a national holiday in Canada and a time when Canadians join together to remember those that have lost their lives in all wars.

For details about specific Remembrance Day events throughout Metro Vancouver, click Remembrance Day Ceremonies.

Lest we forget. …