Resources for Remembrance Day

Posted by Erez Zobary and Jasmine Wong on November 4, 2021

This Remembrance Day, We Begin with Why we Remember

I remember him leaning in and asking why I would want to forget.  ‘Memory,’ [Holocaust survivor, Elie Wiesel] said, ‘wasn’t just for ... survivors. The people who ask us to forget are not our friends. Memory not only honors those we lost but also gives us strength... Nothing good comes of forgetting; remember, so that my past doesn’t become your future’....”

Journalist Sonari Glinton,

From Forgetting Isn’t Healing


History, as nearly no one seems to know, is not merely something to be read. And it does not refer merely, or even principally, to the past. It could scarcely be otherwise, since it is to history that we owe our frames of reference, our identities, and our aspirations.” - James Baldwin 


Remembrance Day is a day that invites Canadians to gather together in a collective act of listening, acknowledgment, reflection, mourning and healing.  It is a day to honour those whose sacrifices and whose lives during - and after - war enabled many of the rights and freedoms we hold today.  It is also a day to reflect on the immeasurable costs of war - both on the battlefield and off - as we recommit to the hard work of peace, justice and equity.

At Facing History and Ourselves, we ask ourselves, “How do we help students (and ourselves) to remember more than names, dates, and battles? How do we help students to connect to, and understand our shared humanity: the people behind the names, the lives, ideas, and cultures lost and reclaimed, and the legacies that extend beyond the signing of a treaty that signals the end of a war?”

We hope this list of resources helps to serve as a starting point for you as you honour Remembrance Day in a way that builds a better tomorrow.


Activity Ideas: 


Remembering Why we Fight
  • Bring Claire Baum’s story of liberation to your students. Her testimony as a Holocaust survivor, testimony from soldiers & their loved ones deepen our students intellectual & emotional connections to those who fought and why they fought.



Remembering that We Fought Together

  • On Remembrance Day, we have an opportunity to remember that the cost for freedom was paid for and won through the sacrifice of members from diverse communities that comprise Canada today.  In spite of experiences of segregation and inequality at home and in military service, Black, Indigenous, Chinese, Jewish and female soldiers, Veterans and volunteers, served together as Canadians.  Head to Veterans Affairs Canada ‘People & stories’ to learn the stories of those who have served Canada.
  • Hugh Burnett was a Black WWII veteran who demonstrated courage both in and beyond the war. Burnett fought for Canada & returned from the war to fight for civil rights by challenging discrimination in segregated ‘Jim Crow Ontario'. 

  • November 8 is Indigenous Veterans Day. Use this resource and the videos included to honour the important contributions made by First Nations, Inuit and Métis Veterans in service to Canada.

  • Learn about Indigenous war heroes such as Edwin Victor Cook who was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal in 1918 and the many others whose chests proudly bore the medals they so justly deserved



Remembering the Costs and Legacies of War 




  • We remember the legacy of wars & the commitments to ensure these tragedies do not happen again. Learn about the “impressively multicultural but imperfectly multicultural” Universal Declaration of Human Rights - the first in a succession of rights declarations

If you are looking for commemorative events, please see this Veteran Affairs Canada landing page.

Topics: Classrooms, Facing History Resources, Teaching Resources, Remembrance Day


This is where Canadian Facing History and Ourselves teachers and community members meet to share reflections, scholarship and teaching practices that will inspire, challenge and improve teaching and student learning. Our stories provide a window into diverse Facing History classrooms in Canada, and invite you into the discussion.

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