November 11 is Remembrance Day, which commemorates those who lost their lives in war, conflict and military service for Australia.
Traditionally, a silence is observed at 11am on the 11th of November, which comes from the “the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month”: the time and date that the armistice between the Allies and Germany ended the First World War in 1918.
Remembrance Day is also observed in other nations, sometimes by another name like Memorial Day or Veterans Day. The day is observed in the USA, Commonwealth countries including Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and many Caribbean nations, France, Belgium and Serbia.
Originally known as Armistice Day, Remembrance Day was first meant to commemorate those who died in WWI. But since WWII, the day came to include people who had died in later wars too.
Remembrance Day traditions generally focus on members of the armed forces and military who died in conflict, but other people may be commemorated too. Casualties of conflict or peacekeeping missions include civilian nurses and medical staff, members of auxiliary services (including women’s auxiliaries), humanitarian volunteers, war correspondents and police officers assisting in peacekeeping activities.
Red poppy flowers are used in Remembrance Day traditions, and are a common symbol of commemoration of those killed in conflict. Red poppies grew in the churned-up soil of the Western Front in WWI, and their bright red colour eerily evoked the spilled blood of fallen soldiers.
Remembrance Day ceremonies commonly include the Last Post bugle call, which was used on the battlefield to announce the end of the day’s activities and the time for sleep. It is now also used at remembrance ceremonies and military funerals to signify that the soldier’s duty has ended and they can rest in peace.
Take a moment to view the display at the Kelvin Grove Library on level 3 (pictured above) and feel free to borrow any displayed items.