Tomorrow is a holiday in this country and many others. For years I assumed that it was all the same holiday with different names, depending on where you observe it. I was sort of right.
November 11 is....
1. Veteran's Day (U.S.)--Veteran's Day is our day to honor those who have served in the military. It began as Armistice Day (see below) and the name was changed in many countries, after WWII. According to VA.gov, the national Veteran's Day ceremony is "intended to honor and thank all who served in the United States Armed Forces." This includes both of my grandfathers (Navy and Marines), my father-in-law (Navy), and my mother's cousin, who was the first woman I knew who had served in the Air Force and who I wanted to be just like when I was a kid. Living as I do in a military town, this also applies to more than half the people I know. So, to all y'all, THANK YOU!!
2. Armistice Day--This is still observed as "Armistice Day" in some of the countries (France, Belgium, New Zealand) who were part of the Allied forces during WWI. On November 11, 1918, at 11:00am, the armistice (or truce) was signed, ending the long and very bloody Great War, which raged from 1914-1918 and cost the lives of 16 million and left 20 million wounded. The Armistice is still remembered at 11:00am in the US, Canada, Great Britain and elsewhere, usually by 2 minutes of silence, the laying of wreaths on graves, and the sadness that comes with knowing that so many died so young in a horrible global conflict.
3. Remembrance Day (Canada, UK)--This began as Armistice Day and is usually observed on the Sunday closest to November 11--Remembrance Sunday. It is a day to remember both the Armistice and the fallen from other wars. The poppy flower is worn as a symbol of remembrance, thanks to a poem by John McCrae "In Flanders Fields."
At the Tower of London, artists have created an installation of ceramic poppies as a moving tribute to the memory of every British WWI fatality.
Do you recall me mentioning the WWI movie being filmed in England? It seems that "Tell Them of Us" is finished and has been released in England on a limited basis. From here I hope that someone picks it up and makes it available in the U.S. The history and the knitwear are both real.
I found this site via Pinterest, that includes, among other things, a list of books for kids about WWI--The Children's War.
No matter where you live or what you thought you knew about the Great War, I hope that this November 11 you will find the time to remember our great-great grandfathers who served and our great-great grandmothers who knitted while waiting for them at home. It is a history shared by the world, that unites us all in loss and the desire for peace. And in Remembrance...