20 Remembrance Day Facts

20 Remembrance Day Facts

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, We will remember them.

On this day we take time to remember, reflect and honour those who fought and died in war. Here are just a few facts for you to think about that relate to Remembrance Day.

How it began …

  • Remembrance Day is observed on 11 November to commemorate the official end of World War I.
  • Remembrance Day ceremonies are held around the Commonwealth to remember the sacrifices made by all men and women who have fought and died in war.
  • The war officially ended “at the 11th hour (11am) of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, when the Germans signed the Armistice Agreement.
  • Remembrance Day was first observed in 1919 throughout the British Commonwealth thanks to King George V declaring the anniversary of the signing to be dedicated to a solemn observance of the men and women who gave their life during the conflict.
  • The first official Armistice Day was subsequently held on the grounds of Buckingham Palace the following morning.

The name variants …

  • It was originally called “Armistice Day”.
  • After the end of the Second World War, the Australian and British governments changed the name to Remembrance Day. Armistice Day was no longer an appropriate title for a day which would commemorate all war dead.
  • Remembrance Day is also known as Poppy Day.
  • The United States used to commemorate Armistice Day on November 11. However, in 1954 they changed the name to Veterans Day.

The meaning behind the Poppy …

  • The red poppy is the symbol of Remembrance Day and symbolises the bloodshed.
  • The tradition of pinning a blood-red poppy to one’s lapel for the duration of Remembrance Day originates from the poem In Flanders Fields.

Those famous words …

  • ‘In Flanders Fields’ has become one of the world’s most famous war poem, but itself almost a casualty of war.
  • Written by Canadian doctor, Lieutenant-Colonel John McRae who fought in the Boer War as well as WWI.
  • Written in 1915 when he was sick of war, he used his anger and his anguish to compose the poem that came to be known as “In Flanders Fields.”
  • And it took him all of 20 minutes to write.
  • John McRae didn’t feel that his words adequately expressed his grief, so he threw the poem away.
  • Fortunately for history, a fellow officer retrieved the paper and it was published in the English magazine “Punch” in December 1915, and has become one of the most poignant reminders of those who are long gone, but definitely never forgotten.

The Last Post …

  • The Last Post bugle call is played at all Remembrance Day services around the country.
  • Its mournful notes can bring tears to the eyes of old soldiers and their loved ones.
  • It is believed to have started in the British Army back in the 17th century, when an officer, accompanied by a bugler, would check to see whether soldiers were in their barracks for the night.
  • The first post meant his rounds had started and those still not back at base should return.

 

anzac day poppies

Gone, but not forgotten …

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