Monday, November 10, 2014

Veterans Day - Remembrance Day

Poppies used on Remembrance Day
Since tomorrow is my 1000th post, I will be reviewing some of the most popular posts so far. So I share today a reflection on two celebrations being held on both sides of the Atlantic, remembering the thousands of veterans of wars.
Remembrance Day (also known as Poppy Day) is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth of Nations member states since the end of the First World War to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty. The day, specifically designated by King George V on 7 November 1919, or alternative dates, are also recognized as special days for war remembrances in many non-Commonwealth countries. 
Poppies displayed at the Cenotaph in London
Remembrance Day is observed on 11 November to recall the end of hostilities of World War I on that date in 1918. Hostilities formally ended "at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month." The red remembrance poppy has become a familiar emblem of Remembrance Day due to the poem 'In Flanders Fields.' These poppies bloomed across some of the worst battlefields of Flanders in World War I, their brilliant red color became a symbol for the blood spilled in the war.

A woman praying by her husband's grave at a Military Cemetery
In the USA, Veterans Day is commemorated on November 11 to give tribute to the service of men and women who lost their lives during past wars. In my parish church here in Bend, I will celebrate Mass during which the names of all fallen veterans will be mentioned, with a toll of a bell after each name. A blessing for all veterans alive will also be given. In the United States, and some other allied nations, November 11th was formerly known as Armistice Day; in the United States it was given its new name in 1954 at the end of the Korean War to honor all veterans. Parades are held in various towns and villages as living veteran are honored and given tribute for the sacrifice they did to safeguard freedom.

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