One hun­dred years of re­mem­brance

The Western Star - - REMEMBRANCE DAY -

This year marks the 100th an­niver­sary of the sign­ing of the armistice that brought the First World War and its four years of armed con­flict to an end. On Novem­ber 11, 1918, rep­re­sen­ta­tives of France, Great Bri­tain and Ger­many met in a rail­way car­riage in France to sign the his­toric doc­u­ment, paving the way for the peace ne­go­ti­a­tions that would cul­mi­nate in the Treaty of Ver­sailles, a doc­u­ment drafted five months later. The an­niver­sary of the Armistice was ob­served the next year in Great Bri­tain and this tra­di­tion quickly spread to the other Al­lied Na­tions. The hol­i­day was orig­i­nally known as Armistice Day, but mem­ber states of the Com­mon­wealth of Na­tions like Canada even­tu­ally adopted the name Re­mem­brance Day. We com­mem­o­rate on this date not only cit­i­zens who fought in the First World War but also those who fought in the Sec­ond World War and ev­ery other war and peace­keep­ing mis­sion since. Although the Al­lies won the con­flict, Armistice Day wasn’t a day of un­abashed cel­e­bra­tion. Given the un­speak­able hor­rors and death tolls in World War I, and like­wise in World War II, Novem­ber 11 be­came a day of solemn com­mem­o­ra­tion. Hence the two min­utes of si­lence we ob­serve on this date, a tra­di­tion that goes back to the very first Armistice Day com­mem­o­ra­tion, in 1919.

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