Remembrance Day is a memorial day celebrated since the end of the First World War in many countries to remember all the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty on 11 November at the 11th Hour. This tradition was started by King George V in 1919 due to the end of the First World War with the Treaty of Versailles on 28 June 1919.
It is also known as Poppy Day due to the red remembrance poppy which has become a symbol of this memorial thanks to the poem “In Flanders Fields”, a very popular war poem written during the First World War, on May 3 1915 by the Canadian physician Major John McCrae after seeing the funeral of his friend and partner, Alexis Helmer, a soldier who died in the Second Battle of Ypres.
This is a few lines of this poem:
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.
In the United Kingdom this memorial is celebrated on the Sunday nearest to the 11 November with two minutes of silence, there are even businessmen and employers who invite their costumers to see these minutes. Typically, poppy wreaths are laid by representatives of the Crown, the armed forces, and local civic leaders, as well as by local organizations including ex-servicemen organizations, cadet forces, the Scouts, Guides, Boys’ Brigade, St John Ambulance and the Salvation Army.
This memorial is celebrated in others countries like Denmark, Germany, United States, South Africa or Canada. However, in some of this or others countries the Remembrance Day can be called with others names like Veterans Day or Memorial Day. For example, in France and Belgium It commemorates the armistice signed between the Allies and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front, which took effect at 11:00 am—the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.” In France the blue cornflower is used symbolically rather than the poppy.
“We honor these soldiers and people who have given their lives fighting, serving and helping to their countries”
By Lucia Yanez Arencibia
Student at CET Services