At 11 am on 11 November every year, people across the Commonwealth nations, Belgium and France observe a minute’s silence to remember the soldiers who died during the First World War. The time and date of this observance commemorates the exact moment that an armistice (ceasefire) was signed by the allied forces and Germany in 1918 to end hostilities of that catastrophic conflict. Poppies are traditionally worn on Remembrance Day as a reference to the flowers which grew over the graves of fallen soldiers on the fields of Flanders where many battles of the First World War were fought.
Of the 416,809 Australians who enlisted in the First World War, approximately 60,000 were killed, and a further 156,000 were wounded (Australian War Memorial). Thousands more suffered from psychological trauma after enduring the violence and hardships of warfare at Gallipoli, along the Western Front, and in the Middle East.
Since the Second World War, Remembrance Day commemorates Australians and our allied countries’ forces (including New Zealand, the UK, Canada and the USA) who have lost their lives in all conflicts.
In remembrance of the military and civilian casualties of past wars and those which endure, lest we forget.