Every year on November 11th, the UK, along with members of the British Commonwealth, observe Remembrance Day. On this day, member states honor and remember those in the armed forces who died in the line of duty.
July 28, 1914, was the fateful day that WWI began. It started shortly after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria. During The Great War, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, and the Ottoman Empire fought together. Together these countries formed the Central Powers. They fought against the Allied Powers, which consisted of Great Britain, France, Russia, Italy, Japan, Romania, and the United States.
Due to new military technologies and trench warfare, there were unprecedented levels of destruction. By the end of the war four years later, over 16 million people had died. These people consisted of both soldiers and civilians. Most of these soldiers died during battle or from being prisoners of war. Other soldiers died from sickness, starvation, and exposure to the elements. The heaviest loss of life occurred on July 1, 1916, during the Battle of the Somme. The British Army lost over 57,000 soldiers. Thankfully, two years later, the Great War came to an end.
HOW TO OBSERVE #RemembranceDay
This is a solemn day in the countries that observe it. Every year, Canadians pause in a moment of silence to remember those who have served and continue to serve in war and conflict. In Australia, people pay their respects to the soldiers that have died in battle. The country of Barbados holds a parade at National Heroes’ Square.
Other events in Britain and the British Commonwealth’s members include wreath-laying ceremonies, moments of silence, multi-faith memorial services, and commemorative exhibitions. Many people also wear a poppy flower, which has become a symbol of remembrance.
REMEMBRANCE DAY HISTORY
It was on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918 that an armistice agreement ended WWI. To commemorate this event, the British Commonwealth created Armistice Day. This day was celebrated on the Monday of the week in which November 11th fell. In 1931, a bill was passed to only observe Armistice Day on November 11th. Because of that same bill, the name of the observance was changed to Remembrance Day. The first Remembrance Day was held on November 11th, 1931.