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Remembrance Day: A day of reflection and gratitude

By Tammy Lo

Published 12:56 PST, Thu November 9, 2023

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, people around the world pause to remember and honour the heroes who sacrificed their lives for the cause of freedom and peace. 

Remembrance Day, also known as Armistice Day or Poppy Day, serves as a reminder of the profound impact of war and the need for unity, reflection, and gratitude. This article delves into the significance of Remembrance Day, its historical origins, and how we can pay our respects to those who served.

Remembrance Day's origins can be traced back to the end of World War I. On Nov. 11, 1918, the armistice agreement was signed, marking the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front. This momentous event signalled the end of "The Great War," and it was a time when the world yearned for lasting peace after enduring the horrors of a devastating conflict.

With the end of “The Great War” came a significant symbol, the red poppy. The red poppy flower has become an enduring symbol of Remembrance Day. The tradition was inspired by the famous war poem "In Flanders Fields" by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae. In the poem, McCrae vividly describes the red poppies that bloomed during the graves of soldiers in Flanders, Belgium. The Royal British Legion adopted the red poppy as a symbol of remembrance in 1921, and it has since been worn as a symbolism to fallen soldiers and a reminder of the profound cost of war.

Some of the ways we can pay our respects during on Remembrance Day and during the month of November include participating in a two minutes of silence on Remembrance Day, wearing a red poppy, and visiting war memorials. 

Taking two minutes of silence on Remembrance Day is one of the most widespread traditions, where people at the eleventh hour of the day, reflect on the sacrifices made by those who served in the armed forces. As mentioned before many people wear a red poppy on Remembrance Day as a symbol of respect and remembrance. Proceeds from the sale of these poppies often go to support veterans and their families. Visiting local war memorials is another way to pay respects to the fallen and to acknowledge the sacrifices made by soldiers.

Remembrance Day reminds us that the price of freedom is high and that it's important to honour and remember the courage and sacrifices of those who have served in times of war. It is a day to pause, reflect, and express our gratitude to the countless heroes who have selflessly served their country. By wearing a red poppy, attending ceremonies, and observing two minutes of silence, we not only honour the past but also strive to work towards a more peaceful future. In doing so, we ensure that the memory of those who have sacrificed for our peace will never fade away.

In a world that is still twisted with conflicts and challenges, Remembrance Day serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of working towards a more peaceful and harmonious future. It urges us to strive for a world where we can remember the fallen without sacrificing more lives.

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