Canadians observe Remembrance Day every year on November 11th, the anniversary of the end of World War I. The observance is intended to honour all veterans who fought for Canada, sacrificing for the sake of others. The Royal Canadian Mint recognizes the importance of Remembrance Day by issuing special Canadian coins every year. This year, it has also included a Remembrance Day coin set in its Moments To Hold series.
The Importance of Remembrance Day
Nov. 11, 1919, was the first anniversary of the end of World War I. On that date, Canadians observed Armistice Day, referring to the agreement that brought the fighting to a close. In 1921, people began wearing poppies in observance of Armistice Day.
In 1931, Canadians changed the name of Armistice Day to Remembrance Day. In 1919, the Great War, as it was known at the time, was still fresh in everyone’s minds, as was the Armistice. By 1931, children who were barely able to remember the war years were growing up. Changing the name of the observance to Remembrance Day took the emphasis off the end of the war and placed it on the veterans who served, sometimes sacrificing their lives for their country. Renaming the observance to Remembrance Day also made it a commemoration of all veterans from all wars.
The Significance of the Poppy
The reverse of the coin in the Remembrance Day Moments To Hold set bears a simple engraved image of three poppy flowers designed by Steve Hepburn, a Canadian artist. Poppies grew on the battlefields of World War I, flourishing in the soil that fighting and shelling churned up.
John McCrae was a Canadian doctor who served in World War I. Following the Battle of Ypres in 1915, McCrae was inspired by the sight of poppies blooming in the field of battle to write a poem called “In Flanders Fields” in honour of the soldiers who had fought and died there. The poem struck a chord with both veterans and their families. “In Flanders Fields” inspired a movement to make the poppy a symbol of remembrance of fallen soldiers, which became official in 1921.
The Features of the Coin Set
The Moments To Hold Remembrance Day Coin Set for 2022 features a cardboard folder with transparent windows for viewing the coin from both the front and the back. The obverse of the coin features Susanna Blunt’s portrait of Queen Elizabeth II and is visible from the back of the folder.
The front of the folder has a colour poppy design that is similar to, but distinct from, the design on the reverse of the coin. The four poppies on the front of the folder appear against a stylized green maple leaf design. The interior of the folder provides information about the significance of Remembrance Day and the symbolism of the poppy.
The Additional Remembrance Day Coins Canada From the Royal Canadian Mint
The Moments To Hold coin set is separate from the Remembrance Day coins that the RCM releases on a yearly basis. The Remembrance Day coin for 2022 takes inspiration directly from “In Flanders Fields.” It depicts a young Canadian army captain sitting in sombre contemplation under a tree near the site of the Second Battle of Ypres. In the background, poppies bloom among the graves of the fallen soldiers. A cluster of poppies blooming in the foreground has been selectively coloured to make them stand out from the scene, serving as a reminder of the importance of remembering those who sacrificed their lives for a greater cause.
At Colonial Acres Coins, you can find the Remembrance Day coin set and others in the Moments To Hold series, as well as Remembrance Day coins from past years as well as the present.