We Will Remember Them

 

We Will Remember Them, originally uploaded by Photography by Odille.

Catafalque Party, Remembrance Day service, Murwillumbah, northern NSW, Australia 11 November 2010.

God of our fathers, known of old,
Lord of our far flung battle line,
Beneath whose awful hand we hold
Dominion over palm and pine,
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget, lest we forget!

The tumult and the shouting dies;
The captains and the kings depart:
Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice,
An humble and a contrite heart.
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget, lest we forget!

Lumix FZ35

Armistice Day (also known as Remembrance Day) is on 11 November and commemorates the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front, which took effect at eleven o’clock in the morning – the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” of 1918. The reason the truce was to go into effect on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th Month was as a remembrance of the Feast of the Soldier later Bishop, St. Martin of Tours.

While this official date to mark the end of the war reflects the cease fire on the Western Front, hostilities continued in other regions, especially across the former Russian Empire and in parts of the old Ottoman Empire.

The date was declared a national holiday in many allied nations, to commemorate those members of the armed forces who were killed during war.  An exception is Italy, where the end of the war is commemorated on November 4, the day of the Armistice of Villa Giusti.  After World War II, the name of the holiday was changed to Veterans Day in the United States and to Remembrance Day in countries of the British Commonwealth of Nations.  Armistice Day remains an official holiday in France.  It is also an official holiday in Belgium, known also as the Day of Peace in the Flanders Fields.
In many parts of the world people take a two-minute moment of silence at 11:00 a.m. as a sign of respect for the roughly 20 million people who died in the war, as suggested by Edward George Honey in a letter to a British newspaper, although Wellesley Tudor Pole established two ceremonial periods of remembrance based on events in 1917.

In the UK, beginning in 1939, the two-minute silence was moved to the Sunday nearest to 11 November in order not to interfere with wartime production should 11 November fall on a weekday.  After the war most Armistice Day events were moved to the nearest Sunday and began to commemorate both World Wars.  The change was made in many Commonwealth countries as well as the United Kingdom, and the new commemoration was named Remembrance Sunday or Remembrance Day.  Both Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday are now commemorated formally in the UK.

NOTE: this is NOT the case in Australia where it is commemorated on the day, however, unlike ANZAC day, it is not a public holiday.

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