Last updated on April 6th, 2021 at 01:51 am
Last Updated on April 6, 2021 Posted by Colonial Acres Coins
Remembrance Day 2020 is particularly significant because it coincides with the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II. The Royal Canadian Mint has already released coins to commemorate the end of this significant conflict featuring the iconic V for Victory.
Released in honour of Remembrance Day 2020, the latest coin set in the “Moments To Hold” series features the same motif with the addition of rows upon rows of poppies. Used to represent the sacrifices of those who served in combat since at least 1921, the poppies featured on the coin appear in vibrant colour beneath brilliant rays symbolizing peace and hope.
What Is Remembrance Day?
Remembrance Day was first observed in 1919 by King George V of Britain. The agreement that ended World War I was made official on Nov. 11, 1918, specifically at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. On the one-year anniversary of the end of the war, King George asked for two minutes of silence in remembrance of those who had died in the conflict.
For approximately 10 years thereafter, Armistice Day was observed throughout the Commonwealth on or about Nov. 11. To pay tribute to the soldiers and veterans who served in all wars, not just World War I, the observance was changed to Remembrance Day by a parliamentary act in 1931 and scheduled to occur only on Nov. 11, not the Monday before as had become the custom.
Today, Canada is one of 54 Commonwealth states that continue to observe Remembrance Day on Nov. 11, while some other member states observe it at different times of the year. Several other countries, including the United States, Poland, and France, observe Remembrance Day or an occasion with a similar intent on Nov. 11 despite not belonging to the Commonwealth.
Why Does the Poppy Symbolize Remembrance Day?
Since 1921, the poppy has been a physical symbol for the people who served in combat, especially those who lost their lives, when the British Legion started selling silk poppies as a fundraiser for those needing assistance after leaving the military. The inspiration for the symbolism came from a 1915 poem written by a Canadian soldier, physician, and poet named John McCrae. Having enrolled in the Canadian Expeditionary Force at the age of 41, McCrae fought in the Second Battle of Ypres in April 1915, where he lost a close friend. At the memorial service, he observed that poppies were already growing on the gravesites of the fallen. The sight inspired him to write a poem entitled “In Flanders Field.” It ends with an admonition to remember those who died and take up their cause.
What Are the Features of the Pure Silver Coin?
The coin appears in a custom folder and is visible from both the front and the back when open or closed. If desired, it can be popped out of the packaging for close-up viewing. The front of the folder features a photograph of the National War Memorial in Ottawa, a maple leaf motif, and a photo collage depicting both the joyful victory and the painful sacrifice. The inside of the folder provides information about the history of Remembrance Day and the design of the coin in both English and French.
McCrae’s poem describes poppies growing “between the crosses, row on row,” marking the graves of the soldiers who fell in the fields of Flanders. The crosses are not depicted on the coin, but artist Trevor Tennant evokes the poem by illustrating rows of poppies seeming to extend into the distance. The poppies in the foreground are richly detailed as they twine around the V for Victory.
Remembrance Day honours those Canadians who served in all armed conflicts. With its intense colour and sensitive design, this pure silver commemorative coin would make a thoughtful gift for someone who served in the military or who lost a loved one in combat. Find this and other coins in the “Moments To Hold” series at Colonial Acres.