Powerful Remembrance Day Quotes to Share on November 11
On Nov. 11, take a moment to reflect on the bravery and sacrifice of those who have served the True North Strong and Free.
Remembrance Day quotes
November 11th is Remembrance Day in Canada, also known as Armistice Day and “poppy day” around the world. It’s our annual reminder of significant sacrifices made in the past that have led to current freedoms. It’s observed on this date to commemorate the end of World War I, which officially took place on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918. This year also marks the 102nd anniversary of the poppy campaign, organized by the Royal Canadian Legion, with proceeds from poppy sales helping to support veterans and their families.
Here are 20 powerful Remembrance Day quotes that drive home the importance of a moment’s reflection.
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The original Remembrance Day poem
“In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.”
—John McCrae, Canadian poet, doctor and medical officer during WWI
Read the incredible story behind In Flanders Fields.
“There can be no dedication to Canada’s future without a knowledge of its past.”
—John Diefenbaker, 13th Prime Minister of Canada
Find out how the town of Veteran, Alberta became home to “the Big Poppy.”
Sacrifice and service
“On this Remembrance Day I’m feeling grateful. The sacrifice and service of those in the Canadian Armed Forces has made our way of life possible.”
—Naheed Nenshi, former mayor of Calgary
Taking comfort in remembrance
“Remembrance reminds us that our nation has been through even more challenging times. Whether at war or during peace support operations, Canada’s veterans and fallen heroes alike can take comfort in our remembrance.”
—Larry Murray, grand president of the Royal Canadian Legion
The solemn truth
“Let us never forget the solemn truth that the nation is not constituted of the living alone.”
—Sir Robert Borden, 8th Prime Minister of Canada
Don’t miss these true stories of Canadians who helped make D-Day a success.
A Prime Minister’s message
“I encourage all Canadians to observe two minutes of silence, and solemnly remember all those who have fought for our country. We owe them an immeasurable debt of gratitude for helping to make Canada [a] prosperous [and] free country.”
—Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
This gallery of poppy pictures showcases the enduring symbol of remembrance.
True patriot love
“Patriotism is not dying for one’s country, it is living for one’s country. Perhaps that is not as romantic but it’s better.”
—Agnes Macphail, first woman elected to the House of Commons and co-founder of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (which would become the NDP party)
Discover the fascinating story behind O Canada, our national anthem.
Two minutes of silence
“Remembrance Day is when the country stops for two minutes of silence, to pay respects to those who gave their lives and our veterans who fought for our freedom.”
—Douglas Phillips, Canadian writer
Read the incredible story of how a metal shaving kit saved this Canadian soldier’s life in WWII.
The horrors of war
“The sights around the field are terrible looking. I hope I don’t witness anything like it again.”
—Harry Chalmers, Canadian soldier who fought in WWI
This letter from a Canadian soldier explains the sacrifice of veterans everywhere.
Sense of duty
“It was like living in a graveyard. But I felt this was a duty that someone must do, and I thought I would try to do it.”
—Mary Riter Hamilton, Canadian battlefield painter, one of the only women to occupy that role during WWI
Read up on 10 incredible Canadian women you didn’t learn about in history class.
Our courage is strong
“Our hopes are high. Our faith in the people is great. Our courage is strong. And our dreams for this beautiful country will never die.”
—Pierre Trudeau, 15th Prime Minister of Canada
Worth fighting for
“Canada is the homeland of equality, justice and tolerance.”
—Kim Campbell, 19th Prime Minister of Canada
Here’s why Ontario’s Farmerettes are Canada’s forgotten wartime heroes.
More important than ever
“I wonder whether it isn’t more crucial now than ever to commemorate Remembrance Day in terms of the original intention of marking the 1918 Armistice— the significance of a cessation of hostilities between nations after a long series of brutal […] battles.”
—Fiona Tinwei Lam, Canadian writer and editor
Read the incredible tale of how Cree code talkers helped win WWII.
“On Remembrance Day, we mark the sacrifice made by veterans in serving their country in war.”
—Jagmeet Singh, leader of the federal NDP party
Here are seven poignant military movies to watch on Remembrance Day.
What it is to be Canadian
“We only need to look at what we are really doing in the world and at home and we’ll know what it is to be Canadian.”
—Adrienne Clarkson, former Governor General of Canada
“The honour of carrying the Canadian flag… brings with it a sense of duty, privilege, and above all, great pride.”
–Tessa Virtue, former Canadian Olympic ice dancer
Find out about the Highway of Heroes tree campaign.
Remembrance Day quotes honouring their service
“Our country honours those who have served, both past and present, in times of war, military conflict and peace.”
—Lawrence MacAulay, former Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence
Find out why July 25, 1944, was one of Canada’s darkest days in the Second World War.
The tragedy of war
“When I wear my poppy I’m remembering everyone affected by war, across races, genders, ideologies and borders. I’m remembering the tragedy of war, all wars. I wear it in the hope that wars will be a thing of the past.”
–Dave Stewart, Canadian writer, musician and filmmaker
Next, check out 30 powerful Remembrance Day stories from Canadian veterans.