Thursday, November 11, 2010
On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918, the guns of Western Europe fell silent after four years of hell and bloodshed. The Armistice treaty was signed in a railway carriage in Compiègne Forest and marked the end of The Great War (now called WWI)
On the first anniversary of the Armistice, in 1919, one minute's silence was instituted as part of the main commemorative ceremony to remember those who had fallen.
The story of the Poppy
Red poppies - Flanders Poppies - were among the first plants to spring up in the devastated battlefields of northern France and Belgium. In soldiers' folklore, the vivid red of the poppy came from the blood of their comrades drenching the ground. It is for this reason the humble red poppy is worn on Remembrance Day to remember, honour and pay homage to all those who died.
The Great War contributed to the Australian definition of mateship as a shared experience based on mutual respect and the significance of Armistice and Remembrance Day has continued for Australians. Many households were cast into mourning in the face of such terrible losses. Many streets in towns and suburbs across Australia were marked by households bereft of men.
And so, every November, on the 11th hour of the 11th day, we remember those who have fallen and made the ultimate sacrifice in all wars, as we bow our heads in silence while "The Last Post" is played.
The Last Post
In military tradition, the Last Post is the bugle call that signifies the end of the day's activities. The Last Post is the trumpet or bugle call sounded at 10 pm each night to inform soldiers that they should be inside their quarters for the night. It is also sounded at military funerals and commemorative services ... to indicate that the soldier has completed his life's work and has entered into his rest.
Remembrance Day Service
There are four parts ~
The "Last Post"
They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn,
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
From "For The Fallen" Laurence Binyon (1869–1943)
Remembrance Day 2010
I attended the service today at my local RSL. These photos were taken during the service and I also filmed the ceremony, the videos (in three parts) can be found at the end of this post. The first one is the longest whilst the other two are considerably shorter.