Today is Remembrance Day in Britain and parts of the Commonwealth (former British Empire) and Veterans Day in the United States. Remembrance Day takes place on November the 11th to honour the sacrifices, service, and death of those in the armed forces. November 11th was originally meant to mark the end of World War One and then later World War Two. Over time this day of memorial has come to include other Wars and now marks the sacrifices of soldiers and others that have served in the line of duty.
Remembrance Day is also known as Poppy Day because in Britain and some Commonwealth countries, such as Canada, people wear Red Poppies as a sign of respect.
Why November 11th?
World War One ended on November 11th, 1918 at 11 AM.
Marking the Day
Remembrance Day is also known as Poppy Day because in Britain and some Commonwealth countries people wear Red Poppies as a sign of respect.
Poppies are heavily associated with memorializing November 11th because of the poem, In Flanders Fields, which took place in Flanders, Belgium during the First World War. To read more about this poem, click here.
In some areas, Remembrance Day/Veterans Day is a public holiday and people do not go to work.
Regardless, any area that observes November 11th will have wreath laying ceremonies, an important community event, to honour the fallen. In Britain, the Queen and members of the Royal Family attend Remembrance Sunday, the Sunday before November 11th, a public ceremony to mark the event.
Everywhere else, on November 11th everyone will stop what they are doing no matter where they are at 11 AM to mark the day with a moment of silence.
Many other countries also have their own memorial days and customs to mark World War One (1914 – 1918) and World War Two (1939 – 1945).
This Canadian comic, For Better or For Worse, shows Remembrance Day from the perspective of a veteran of World War Two (1939 – 1945).
Great-grandpa, a World War Two veteran, may have slept through the ceremonies to mark November 11th but he remembers what happened because he lived through it all as a soldier. He does not need to see it on television. As he sleeps on November 11th at 11 AM he relives his experiences.