All About History - - LEST WE FORGET -

How Ar­mistice was marked and how mem­ory of WWI has changed The First World War was a global con­flict by not only in­volv­ing the ma­jor po­lit­i­cal and mil­i­tary pow­ers of the day, but also the vast num­bers of coun­tries and peo­ple around the world in which they had con­trol or in­flu­ence.

As such, when the Ar­mistice came, peo­ple and places thou­sands of miles apart shared in cel­e­bra­tion and, in time and in their own way, com­mem­o­ra­tion and re­mem­brance that en­dures to this day.

In the USA the news was greeted with ec­static cel­e­bra­tions in the streets of all the ma­jor towns and cities. Although they did at first com­mem­o­rate Ar­mistice Day, 11 Novem­ber in the US is now Vet­er­ans Day and is fo­cussed on vet­er­ans liv­ing and dead but not those who fell in bat­tle. Memo­rial Day re­mem­bers those killed in ac­tion and has its roots in the Amer­i­can Civil War.

With many men fight­ing in WWI the im­por­tance to Aus­tralia and New Zealand of both Ar­mistice Day and Re­mem­brance Day is undi­min­ished. They in turn have Anzac Day which specif­i­cally com­mem­o­rates their coun­try’s ac­tions in Gal­lipoli dur­ing WWI and is still a pub­lic hol­i­day in both coun­tries.

As a mem­ber of the Empire and later the Com­mon­wealth, Canada has con­tin­ued to com­mem­o­rate Ar­mistice Day, although like Britain and oth­ers it has changed to Re­mem­brance Day or Re­mem­brance Sun­day as the Sun­day clos­est to 11 Nov each year. Cana­dian vet­er­ans are treated to free trans­port on that day.

In France and Bel­gium Ar­mistice Day has been com­mem­o­rated from the be­gin­ning and to­day is still a na­tional hol­i­day for both coun­tries.

Wooden crosses mark the first rest­ing places of the fallen

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