Remembrance Day, celebrated in Commonwealth nations on November 11, has the same meaning as America’s Veterans Day.
Celebrated across the Commonwealth on November 11 since the end of World War I, Remembrance Day actually marks Armistice Day, the day hostilities between the Allies and Germany on the Western Front ceased. (The Commonwealth includes 53 member states, almost all of them former territories of the British Empire.)
Remembrance Day, also known as Poppy Day, due to the poppy tradition of remembrance, is a day that is observed in the Commonwealth member states. This year, it falls on Sunday, November 8. Countries like Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom observe the Remembrance Day tradition at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.
REMEMBRANCE DAY HISTORY
Remembrance Day, also known as Poppy Day, due to the poppy tradition of remembrance, is a day observed in the Commonwealth member states. The tradition dates back to the end of World War I as a way to honor members of its armed forces who died in the line of duty.
At 11 a.m. on November 11, 1918, the guns on the Western Front fell silent after more than four years of continuous warfare. The Allied armies had driven the Germans back, inflicting heavy defeats on them for the previous four months. In November, the Germans called for an armistice, or the suspension of fighting, to secure a peace agreement. They accepted Allied terms that amounted to unconditional surrender.
The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month attained special significance in the postwar years. The moment hostilities ceased on the Western Front was universally associated with the memory of those who had died in the war. This first modern world conflict caused the mobilization of more than 70 million people and left between 9 and 13 million dead, perhaps up to a third of them with no known grave. The allied nations chose this day and time to commemorate their war dead.
On the first anniversary of the armistice in 1919, a silence of two minutes was instituted as part of the main commemoration ceremony at the new Cenotaph in London. The silence was proposed by Australian journalist Edward Honey, who worked on Fleet Street. Around the same time, a similar proposal was made by a South African statesman to the British cabinet, which approved it.
King George V personally asked all the people of the British Empire to suspend normal activities for two minutes at the time of the armistice “which stopped the worldwide carnage of the previous four years and marked the victory of Law and Liberty.” The two-minute silence was popularly adopted and became a central element of the Armistice Day commemorations.
The Remembrance Day tradition developed from Armistice Day.
The initial Armistice Day began at Buckingham Palace, with the king hosting a banquet in honor of the French president. Later, during World War II, many countries changed the name of the holiday. America chose Veterans Day.
Remembrance Day in Canada, known as Jour du Souvenir, remains a legal holiday in six of the 10 provinces. The Armistice Day Act, which was celebrated during the 1920s, declared that Canada’s Thanksgiving Day would also be observed on Armistice Day, the Monday of the week that November 11 fell. The government, in 1931, officially changed the date to November 11. The name also changed to Remembrance Day.
Canada has declared that the date is one of “remembrance for the men and women who have served and continue to serve our country in times of war, conflict and peace”; particularly WWI and WWII, the Korean War, and all conflicts since then involving members of the Canadian Armed Forces.
REMEMBRANCE DAY IN NUMBERS
54 – Commonwealth states such as Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia, observe the tradition of Remembrance Day at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.
118,000 – Canadians who made the ultimate sacrifice in times of war and conflict.
100,000 – American soldiers who perished during World War I
82% – Most Canadians still consider the annual tribute important
54% – Of Canadians feel that today’s youth do “a good job” honoring veterans
46% – Less than half of Canadians believe that young people understand the sacrifices of those who have died in conflict.
79% – Wearing a poppy is still the most popular way for Canadians to mark the event.
91%: The vast majority believe Canada should do more to honor its veterans
60,000 – Australian soldiers killed during WWI
886,000 – British soldiers perished during World War I
REMEMBRANCE DAY FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Why do we celebrate Remembrance Day?
Remembrance Day honors the soldiers who fought for their countries not only in World War I, but in all conflicts.
What happens on Remembrance Day in Australia?
Teachers in Australia deliver specially prepared lessons designed to help students understand the importance of the day, while developing skills to overcome adversity.
Does Germany celebrate Remembrance Day?
Germany does not commemorate the signing of the armistice, although the country has another national day of mourning.
HOW TO OBSERVE THE DAY OF REMEMBRANCE
Wear a red poppy on your lapel
After WWI, the red poppy quickly became a symbol of the blood shed by soldiers on the Western Front. To honor those who died in both World War I and other wars, place a poppy on your shirt lapel. She will join millions of Commonwealth residents around the world in this silent but meaningful gesture.
Participate in the two minutes of silence at the national level
At 11 a.m. M., Join the rest of the country in observing two minutes of silence to commemorate the moment the armistice was signed in 1918. During this time, Canadians stop everything to focus their thoughts on remembering all the soldiers who died in compliance. of duty. .
Quote the poem “The Ode of Memory”
Written by Laurence Binyon in 1914, the “Ode of Remembrance” is part of the poem “For the Fallen”, which originally honored the British soldiers who died on the Western Front. It is now recited as a blanket commemoration of all the soldiers who died in the line of duty.
WHY REMEMBRANCE DAY IS IMPORTANT
It is an opportunity to reflect on Canada’s past.
Remembrance Day is a time to reflect on the role that Canada played in the conflict, as well as its historical relationships with the rest of the Commonwealth.
We got to wear poppies
The bright red poppy is the symbol of Remembrance Day throughout the world. Why the poppy? Poppies were a common sight on the Western Front: amid all the violence, these bright red flowers made their way across the ground, reminding soldiers that there is beauty and hope in the world.
It is an excuse to spend time with the family.
Since Remembrance Day is a legal holiday, many Canadians have an extra day to catch up on quality time with family members. For those with family members who died while serving in the military, Remembrance Day is a very special time to remember and honor those loved ones.