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Remembrance Day

On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, we remember you. As the end of the year draws closer, a number of important days mark everyone’s calendars. End of school, Christmas and New Years are a few of the dates that many spending copious amounts of time preparing for, ensuring that everything runs according to plan. Perhaps one of the most important dates to occur during the month of November is Remembrance Day, the time we pay respect to those who have fought valiantly for Australia. Services are held across the country and many people don poppies as a symbolic recognition of their respect to those who have fallen and the many veterans around our country. The commemorative day was originally known to many as Armistice Day, as per the armistice signed in November 1918 by the Allies (Britain, France, Russia, Italy, United States of America and Australia) and the Central Powers (Germany, Bulgaria and Austria-Hungary). The name was later changed after the end of World War Two as the United Kingdom proposed that the day should recognise all armed forces- the navy, air force and the army- and their contributions and personal losses in both World Wars. The agreement by both the Central Powers and the Allies to sign the important document marked the end of World War One and the beginning of many annual ceremonies. In the following year, 1919, the first ceremony was held to respect the agreement that had been signed the year prior. During that ceremony, everyone in attendance was requested to hold a minute of silence and remember their friends, family, comrades and even their enemies that had fallen during the prolonged, horrific war. Poppies worn are done so as they were some of the first flowers to re-grow on the French and Belgium battlefields. Ceremonies are able to be attended across Australia, with the Australian War Memorial, located in Canberra, holding one of the largest services within the country. Last years’ service in Brisbane joined many ceremonies across various other states in ringing church and city bells to show their respect. Such ceremonies occur not only within Australia but also in New Zealand, Canada and other allied countries. As we approach the eleventh of November once more, it is more important than ever to pay our respects to those who sacrificed their lives for our country, and those who continue to do so today in a modern society. A minute of silence says more than words ever could about the importance of Remembrance Day. It holds a permanent place, not only in Australian history, but world history. To those who have served, are serving or will serve we thank you for your service and your contribution.

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