Memorial Day in Newfoundland And Labrador
In Newfoundland and Labrador, the 1st of July is observed as Memorial Day. This day commemorates the loss of almost 700 soldiers from the 1st Newfoundland Regiment of the Dominion of Newfoundland at Beaumont-Hamel during WWI. It is observed alongside Canada Day in this province, where it is a day off for the general population.
It is also a day when schools and most businesses are closed. On this day, there are services dedicated to remembering veterans, wreath-laying ceremonies at memorials, and speeches given by civic leaders and politicians. It is also a day when the Union Jack is flown at half-staff in memory of those soldiers who have been lost in battle.
The History of Memorial Day in Newfoundland and Labrador
During World War I, Newfoundland was a Dominion of the British Empire and was not a part of Canada yet. The 1st Newfoundland Regiment was deployed at Suvla Bay with the 29th British Division for the Gallipoli Campaign. When the campaign came to a close, the regiment was transferred to the Western Front in March of 1916. During the Battle of the Somme, the regiment suffered heavy losses with almost 700 soldiers becoming casualties.
Observing Memorial Day in Newfoundland and Labrador
At cenotaphs and war memorials around the province, wreaths are laid in honor of those soldiers who fell not only on this day during WWI but also throughout history. There is also a moment of silence observed for people to pay respect, and flags are flown at half-staff. This holiday is observed at the same time as Canada Day.