Remembrance Day, on November 11 is a national holiday in many countries throughout the world including Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the Allied powers. It commemorates the end of fighting between the Allies and Germany and the end of World War 1. The signing of the agreement took place in 1918 in France at the 11th hour of the 11th month. Eleven short years later, in 1939, again the world was at war which lasted until May 8, 1945, the official ending of WWII. Today, Remembrance Day is a day to remember family, loved ones and the multitudes who have died for their countries since WWI.
For the Fallen
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
From: “For the Fallen” by Robert Laurence Binyon (1869 – 1943)
Published September 1914
The Story Behind the Remembrance Day Poppy
“From its association with the poppies flowering in the spring of 1915 on the battlefields of Belgium, France and Gallipoli this vivid red flower has become synonymous with great loss of life in war” and was inspired by Moina Michael “the Poppy lady”
In Flanders Fields
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place: and in the sky
The larks still bravely singing fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae
Composed at the battlefront on May 3, 1915 during the second battle of Ypres, Belgium war memorial
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumblin’ mirth
Of sun-split clouds – and done a hundred things
We have not dreamed of – wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hovering there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air …
by John Gillespie Magee RCAF
We have these people who sacrificed their lives to thank for the many freedoms we have today. November 11, Remembrance Day, is a time to remember and be thankful.
Lest we forget – lest we forget!
Recessional by Rudyard Kipling (1897)
Video: The Last Post at the Australian War memorial, Canberra
Links & References:
- Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae biography
- Robert Laurence Binyon biography
- ANZAC stands for Australia and New Zealand Army Corps which originated in WWI
- We will Remember Them – an article with correspondence between my Dad and his best mate during WWII
- Anzac Biscuits – the recipe
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