Remembrance Day, sometimes as known Poppy Day. According to the Wikipedia‘s data, is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth member states since the end of the First World War to remember the members of their arm forces who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

This tradition had inaugurated by King George V in 1919. The day is also marked by war remembrances in many non-Commonwealth countries. Remembrance Day is observed on 11 November in most countries to recall the end of hostilities of First World War on that date in 1918.

Hostilities formally ended “at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month“, in accordance with the armistice signed by representatives of Germany and the Entente between 5:12 and 5:20 that morning. (“At the 11th hour” refers to the passing of the 11th hour, or 11:00 am.) The First World War officially ended with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on 28 June 1919.

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Which countries memorize Remembrance Day?

Countries of Commonwealth member observance Remembrance Day

There are 11 countries, whom are in Commonwealth member states which commemorate Remembrance Day.

United Kingdom

(The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland)

Remembrance Day in the United Kingdom is observed each year on November 11. The day commemorates the signing of the armistice,  also the day commemorates all the U.K. soldiers who died in all conflicts. Two minutes of silence is observed at 11:00 a.m. on that day.

It is not a public holiday in UK, but many businesses may pause activities at 11 a.m. for 2 minutes silence on 11 November. Remembrance poppies are traditionally worn by people in United Kingdom.

Australia

Remembrance Day always observed on November 11 in Australia. Regardless of the day of the week, and it is not a public holiday. The time when people can pay respects to the substantial number of soldiers who died in wars. Services are held at 11 a.m. at war memorials areas, schools in suburbs and cities across the country.

The ‘last post’ is sounded by a bugler, and a one-minute silence is observed. 

When the Remembrance Day falls a normal working day in Melbourne and other major cities, buglers from the Australian Defence Force often play the “Last Post” at major street corners. While this occurs, the majority of passers-by stop and observe a moment of silence while waiting for the bugler to finish the recital.

Belize

Remembrance Day is not public holiday in Belize. It still observes on 11 November each year.

Bermuda

Remembrance Day is still important in Bermuda. The first colonial volunteers had been sent to the front duty in 1915. 

The ceremony still held in the city of Hamilton in Remembrance Day. The Royal Navy and the Bermuda Sea Cadet Corps held a parade on the same day, at the HMS Jervis Bay memorial in Hamilton, a smaller military parade is also held in St. George’s on the nearest Sunday to Remembrance Day.

Canada

Remembrance day is a statutory holiday in all three territories, and in six of the ten provinces in Canada. It is not an official holiday in Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec.

The federal department of Veterans Affairs Canada states the date is of “Remembrance for the men and women who have served for the country, and continue to serve our country during times of war, conflict and peace”. There has a department runs a program called Canada Remembers, with the mission of helping young and new Canadians, to understand and appreciate what those who have served Canada in times of war, and what they have sacrificed for their country.

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India

Remembrance day is usually marked by tributes and ceremonies in army cantonments in India. There are some memorial services at some churches.

In the remote hillsides, at Kohima and Imphal, North East India, services of remembrance supported by the Indian Army, observed at Kohima and Imphal War Cemeteries (maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission). Also, Remembrance Day is marked at the Delhi War Cemetery.

Remembrance Day is not observed in other places in India.

Kenya

The KAFOCA and Kenyan government recognize Remembrance Day in Kenya.

The Kenya Armed Forces Old Comrades Association (KAFOCA) was established in 1945 in Kenya, to cater for the welfare of the Ex-servicemen of the First and the Second World Wars in Kenya.

New Zealand

Remembrance day is called “Anzac Day” in New Zealand, it is national day on 25th April. “Poppy Day” usually occurs on the Friday before Anzac Day.

Armistice Day was observed in New Zealand between the World Wars, although it was always secondary to Anzac Day. As in other countries, New Zealand’s Armistice Day was converted to Remembrance Day after World War II, but this was not a success. The day was virtually ignored even by churches and veterans’ organisations in the mid of 1950’s.

Since the Unknown Warrior being returned to New Zealand for Armistice Day 2004, more ceremonies are now being held in New Zealand on Armistice Day and more churches are now observing Remembrance Sunday.

Saint Lucia

St. Lucia does not recognize Remembrance day as public holiday, like Barbados. However, ceremonial events are still launching, such as parades, and other activities are held on Remembrance Sunday instead.

The Royal St Lucia Police Force members and other uniformed groups, pay tribute through commemoration of St. Lucian men and women who fought in the war.

South Africa

Remembrance Day is not a public holiday in South Africa. Ceremonies are usually held on the nearest Sunday.

Many high schools hold Remembrance Day services every year, to honour the past pupils, who died in the World War I and II, and the Border war.

What is the difference between Remembrance Day and Remembrance Sunday?

Remembrance Day, also called Armistice Day, is on 11 November. it marks the day while World War I ended. It is coming into affect on 11th hour, on the 11th day of the 11th month, in 1918.

Some places like in the UK., many businesses are temporarily pause activities for 2 minutes silence on 11 November

Remembrance Sunday is different to Remembrance Day, it takes place on the second Sunday on November. It is a day of remembrance for those who has lost their lives defending the country. The 2 minutes silence was moved to Sunday closest to that date, as at the start of World War II in 1939.

Before the VE day (Victory in Europe Day) in 1945, the end of the World War II, it was proposed the second Sunday in November should become Remembrance Sunday in commemoration of both of the World War I and II.

However, at the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II since 1995, it has become customary to hold remembrance ceremonies both on Remembrance day (some places called Armistice Day) and Remembrance Sunday.

What do you say on Remembrance Day?

That is a good question. If you try to say “Happy Memorial Day” during Remembrance Day, it sounds an inappropriate greeting for a day of remembrance and memory, especially for some people if they had parental relationships with someone or somebody who had lost their lives in wars .

With Memorial Day being a time to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country, ‘Thank you for your service‘ seems the most appropriate greeting on Remembrance Day, and only to members of the armed forces.

Apart from that, expressions of compassion like ‘I hope you had a good Memorial Day weekend’, weekend could be omitted. ‘Have a blessed Memorial Day’, which show that you care, even if you can never fully understand what veterans have experienced and continue to relive.

What does the Poppy symbolize on Remembrance Day?

The poppy is the symbol of enduring remembrance of the World War I. Poppies were a common sight, because they are flowers which grew on battlefield after World War I ended. It is strongly linked with Remembrance Day (11 November), but the poppy‘s origin as a popular symbol of remembrance lies in the landscapes of the World War I. 

There are several anonymous documents written during the Napoleonic wars, which noted that following battle, poppies became abundant on battlefields where soldiers had fallen.

What does Lest We Forget mean?

Lest we forget‘ is a phrase used in ceremonies to commemorate wars, such as Remembrance Day. It is a reminder to everyone, that we should not forget the actions of our soldiers who fought and lost their lives in the wars. It is usually spoken at the end of the ceremony, to conclude a speech of commemoration with ‘we will remember these actions’.

Some answers have stated that ‘lest’ means ‘in case’. That is not true. ‘Lest’ means ‘so that . . . not’. The phrase ‘Lest we forget‘ could be rephrased as ‘So that we don’t forget‘.

Sometimes, people who get confused about this, tried to add a ‘not’ to make the negation explicit. However, this would make the sentence in the opposite way of what they intend.

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This Post Has 24 Comments

  1. Justin

    Hello there, its really nice to see such a nice article and I have to day its really nice to be here. So many people out there do not know what remembrance day is and I read like as you have brought this to our understanding. There are such people that needs to be appreciated and marking a day out for them is really amazing. I hope to come back to gain more knowledge from your site

    1. Anna

      Hello Justin, thank you for your comment. You are right, there have some people who don’t know what Remembrance Day is, and that’s the reason of why we brought this up, helping people to understand more about Remembrance Day, what is it about, and what should say, etc.

  2. Lisa

    This is a great post on what Remembrance day is. I think it is the most important day of the year every year. I always buy a poppy even though I have lots of the metal badges. It’s such a great cause to support. There are 6 of us in our family and we buy 6 poppies. The children all understand the significance of the poppy and are grateful that we get live in a free world because of the sacrifices made by others. Thank you very much for sharing 

    1. Anna

      Hello Lisa, thank you for your comment. Glad to know that your children understand the significance of Remembrance Day, because sometimes I realized that there have some people who didn’t know, or don’t know what Remembrance Day is. This is why and one of concepts of our website , is spreading to the world and helping people to understand what war is.

  3. Candy Benn

    Hello,

    This is quite interesting. I always thought my country, Guyana celebrated remembrance day. That’s what we call it here anyway, however we always celebrate it on Sunday. So this article has clarified that for me. I never knew who started it or when so this is enlightening.

    I like that they use the Poppy as the symbol because it was the common flower in the war. It does make me wonder though to see such a beautiful sight where so much blood had been shed.

    Regards,

    Candy Benn

    1. Anna

      Hello Candy, thank you for your comment. Glad to know that you like when they use Poppy as the symbol on Remembrance Day. Lest we forget.

  4. surya

    A very neat article. I really learned a lot and enjoyed reading your article. I am from India and we do not celebrate any remembrance day. In fact, this is the first time I am hearing something like remembrance day.

    I like how you also mentioned what you should say during that day as we do not want to hurt anyone’s feelings. I find it so cool how World War 1 ended on the 11th-hour 11th day of the 11th month. It sounds like a prophecy.

    1. Anna

      Hello Surya, thank you for your comment. Because there are not too much places where have ceremonies in India, so that people may not know about it as we known. Or you can let us know if any places has ceremonies in India, so that we can make an update.

  5. Edwin Bernard

    Thanks for sharing this important information about Remembrance Day. When I lived in England seeing the Queen place a wreath at the Cenotaph on November 11th, was something I always remember. 

    TV series of the 1st World War showed horrifying scenes on the French-German battle lines. The mess those soldiers had to live through in the trenches appeared like torture to me. It is only fitting that we honor their memories through Armistice Day. 

    Cheers.

    Edwin

    1. Anna

      Hello Edwin, thank you for your comment. I could imagine how soldiers have battled in front line during wars, and how they sacrificed their lives, to protect and keep the world for peace. It’s like you said, Remembrance Day is something we always remember.

  6. Bogadi

    Hey
    Thank you for the interesting article. I have to acknowledge I was not aware that there is a day called remembrance day and remembrance Sunday and what they actually mean and stand for.I am in South Africa and I never heard of it. I will pay attention this November to take note of any celebrations around. Thank you for opening my eyes to this important day.

    1. Anna

      Hello Bogadi, thank you for your comment. Oh which means they don’t have ceremonies in South Africa anymore? If yes, please specific in detail, so that we can make an update.

  7. Oliveir

    World War I is one of the greatest wounds in human history.The fact that only innocent lives have been lost indicates that human life is irrelevant to individuals.Yet memorial days and ceremonies like this in a way show that people still care to pay their respects to the victims in some way. I think that this is a small step to unite humanity in some way and show solidarity and, above all, respect for those who died in the First World War.

    We must dont forget!!!!

    1. Anna

      Hello Oliveir, thank you for your comment. As history cannot be rebuilt, but we can and we will memorize our heroes who lost their lives and served for their countries. Like you said, this is the way that to unite humans in some ways and show solidarity. That’s why and it’s one of concepts that we build up the website. You are always welcome to exchange your thoughts and ideas, to leave us comments and motivate us.

  8. Alblue

    Thanks for writing about Remembrance Day. I’ve heard about it from my cousin who lives in the UK, but this is the first time I’ve heard it can be a public holiday in other countries. In my country, Remembrance Day isn’t celebrated but we have a similar event. It’s called National Hero Day. Though there aren’t any specific rituals to celebrate it, we do remember some of our ancestor’s heroic actions in the past 

    1. Anna

      Hello Alblue, thank you for your comment. What’s your country btw? Perhaps we can make an update if your country is not in our listing?

  9. Suz

    Thisb is a very good post and I must tell you that I didn’t know that there was something like this called the remembrance day because I don’t leave in any of the Commonwealth countries but I have seen a number of those kinds of celebrations as well. It’s a good thing that you can write something like this one.

    1. Anna

      Hello Suz, thank you for your comment. There have different names in some countries, like it’s called Veteran’s Day in USA. Also, I have seen there have ceremonies during the day in the USA. You are always welcomed to exchange your ideas, share your thoughts with us.

  10. Rachel

    Very nice article. Being from the United States I can’t say we talked much about Remembrance Day in school, our main focus was on Veteran’s Day specifically. While very similar, Veteran’s Day is meant to honor those currently serving in the military or those who had served and we not dishonorably discharged. Thanks to your article I learned a little bit more about Remembrance Day and the social etiquette tied to the holiday and the ceremonies held on that day. 

    1. Anna

      Hello Rachel, thank you for your comment. It’s very interesting to exchange ideas with us. We will always remember our heroes who served their countries and how some of them have lost their lives in the past. Lest We Forget.

  11. Bruce

    It’s nice that you shared this article, it’s good to always take out time to remember these special days in order to honor those that have been affected by it. The first world war claimed a lot of lives and so many families were rendered homeless, it is good that it’s all over now. This is interesting to read through 

    1. Anna

      Hello Bruce, thank you for your comment. One of the concepts of our website, is helping people to understand wars. We would help people to understand, remember those special days that how our heroes have lost their lives to sacrifice for their served countries.

  12. Nath

    Definitely an even that is worthy seeing engraving in the tines of history and worthy to be remembered. The world war was definitely not an easy one on the world as a lot of should were lost. Seeing all that you shared here is Worthy and definitely in the little ways possible, this is a great day too. Thank you for sharing here

    1. Anna

      Hello Nath, thank you for your comment. Let us know if you have any ideas about our website and remembrance Poppy.