In 1918 the armistice that ended World War I came into force, bringing to an end four years of hostilities that saw 60,000 Canadians die at sea, in the air, and on foreign soil. . 'The war to end all wars' ended on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. On that day each year, Canadians are asked to pause and remember the thousands of men and women who sacrificed their lives fighting for freedom and democracy during the First World War, the Second World War, the Korean War and during peacekeeping missions.
The National War Memorial in Ottawa, where national Remembrance Day observances are held each November 11th, was commemorated in November 1938. Ironically, this was less than a year before the start of World War II.
Remembrance is the cornerstone of The Royal Canadian Legion's (RCL) work in Canada. The Poppy Campaign is a major source of funds used to assist veterans, ex-service people and their dependents. In essence, the purposes and objects of the RCL were born of the need to promote unity and further the spirit of comradeship and mutual help among all who have served. The Legion strives to pass on these traditions to the families and descendants of our ex-service personnel..
In the First World War, almost 620,000 Canadians enlisted to fight in the First World War from 1914-1918, and 66,000 died. During the course of the First World War, Canada's naval service grew to a force of 9,000 men and 100 ships.
In the Second World War 60,000 men and women enlisted in Canada's & Newfoundland's armed forces in the first month (September 1939) after the declaration of war. Second World War: More than one million served and approximately 47,000 died. Canadians lost their lives fighting in Dieppe, Normandy, the North Atlantic, defending Hong Kong, during the liberation of Italy, and in many other important air, sea and land campaigns. At the end of the war, Canada had the third-largest fleet in the world, after the U.S. and the U.K. 23 Canadian ships were sunk by German U-Boats in the Battle of St. Lawrence alone.
Today, there are 62,000 military personnel including 9,500 sailors, 19,500 soldiers, 14,500 air force personnel and 20,000 administrative and support personnel. There are also about 22,000 reservists. More than 1,200 members of the Armed Forces are deployed overseas. There are 30 surface ships, four submarines and 9,500 sailors in Canada's navy.