Why we need to remember on Remembrance Day

MILLIONS of people around the world will stop for one minute of silence today to commemorate those who fought and died in conflicts since World War I.

Remembrance Day is held on November 11 each year, the same date the war ended.

Today marks the 99th anniversary of the Armistice, which is the written agreement to end the war in 1918.

Australians will observe one minute of silence at 11am, the time when both sides signed the ceasefire document and the fighting stopped.

Grace, 8, wears a traditional poppy on her hat as she plants a poppy at the Shrine of Remembrance.
Grace, 8, wears a traditional poppy on her hat as she plants a poppy at the Shrine of Remembrance.

More than 60,000 Australians died during World War I.

People traditionally wear red poppy pins on their jackets and hats in the lead up to Remembrance Day.

The remembrance poppy was inspired by Canadian Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae's poem written in 1915 In Flanders Fields.

His poem describes the poppies growing in the churned* soil of the battlefields of Europe.

They are now used as a symbol to remember soldiers killed at war and pins are sold to raise money for returned soldiers. They are also sold and worn on Anzac Day.

Wreaths will be laid at the Remembrance Day National Ceremony in Canberra and other cities and towns will hold their own services.

Bugle player Curtis Wilcox from the Army Band plays The Last Post. Picture: Mark Calleja
Bugle player Curtis Wilcox from the Army Band plays The Last Post. Picture: Mark Calleja

Ceremonies are a chance for returned service people, their friends and family and the general public to reflect on war and thank those who gave their lives for the country.

The Last Post bugle call will be played at ceremonies. The Last Post was played during the war to signal that the night sentries were alert at their posts and gave one last warning to the other soldiers.

The tune was eventually incorporated into funeral and memorial services as a final farewell, and symbolises the duty of the dead is over and they can rest in peace.



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