Over a century ago now, at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the Armistice of 11 November 1918 took effect and officially ended hostilities for World War One. As the first industrialised and international conflict in human history, the war left an indelible impact on those who fought in it and the world at large.
Countries across the Commonwealth hold Remembrance Day on November 11th each year to honour those who died in the line of duty during the Great War. The relatives of the fallen and those serving in armed forces have continued to honour their memory ever since the first Remembrance Day (then referred to as Armistice Day) in 1919.
In Australia, November 11th was officially codified as the date for Remembrance Day in 1997 by the Howard Government. It has been noted by some that ANZAC Day has increasingly been focused upon by the public compared to Remembrance Day.
However, Remembrance Day still remains a very important date for the armed forces and those with family members who have served. RSLs have recently made a concerted effort to bring more attention back to the day.
Ahead of this year’s Remembrance Day, AMA President Professor Steve Robson posted a video honouring doctors who have served in war time. Robson himself served as a navy doctor during the Gulf War in 1990 to 1991.
As is tradition, the Last Post will be played by members of the armed forces at war memorials and other locations across the country at 11 am tomorrow, during which a minute’s silence will be observed. RSLs across Australia will be holding Remembrance Day services as well, a full list of which can be found here.
Remembrance poppies, the symbols strongly associated with Remembrance Day, have been by sold by RSLs in the lead up to this Saturday. They can still be purchased at RSL sub-branches and in public from representatives of the armed forces who may be seen raising money for veterans.
Veterans and relatives of deceased veterans are encouraged to wear their medals during the day. In Victoria, public transport for veterans will also be free tomorrow.
In the United Kingdom, some commemorative services have already been held. Queen Camilla wore a remembrance poppy on her lapel as she visited Westminster Abbey’s Field of Remembrance. She placed a small wooden cross during the service before joining the minute’s silence.
In an effort to ensure that the traditions are preserved for the next generation, war veterans Arthur Johnson and Shirley McLaren with the help of RSL NSW paid a visit to a local pre-school in Collaroy Plateau to teach kids about the importance of Remembrance Day. The 99 year old Arthur served for five years during WW2 as a seamen while Shirley was one of the first female recruits to the RAAF.