|Remembrance Day poster, 2009|
It seems that unless there is a great deal of advertising or a public holiday, major events slip by the wayside. Today could very well be one of those days as very little, if any, notification of the significance of today has been mentioned. Today is, after all, Remembrance Day.
At 5.00 am on 11 November 1918, three German Government representatives accepted the Armistice terms presented to them by an allied commander, General Foch of the French Army. The demands of the Armistice included the withdrawal of German forces to the east bank of the Rhine within 30 days; immediate cessation of warfare; and surrender of the German fleet and all heavy guns with no further negotiations until the signing of the peace treaty.
The armistice became effective at 11:00 am the same day, and as the guns fell silent on the Western Front in France and Belgium, four years of hostilities ended.
Remembrance Day is observed on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. To acknowledge this important anniversary an one minute's silence is held to remember the sacrifice made by all involved, the armed forces as well as civilians in time of war.
|Wall of Names at Flanders|
Nearly a century later, Remembrance Day is just a important now as it was back then. While a lot has changed (the enemy, weapons, military tactics, etc), there is still a lot that remains the same (the loss of life and heartbreak, fighting for someone else's war, politics, etc).
Today, amongst the fallen who will be remembered, I will remember my great uncle Manny who I never knew, whose name graces the wall of a memorial at Tyne Cot.
Is there time enough in your busy schedule to make a minute's silence to recall what happened 94 years ago? To contemplate what was happening back then and what is happening now?
What will you be doing at the 11th hour on the 11th day
of the 11th month this year (today)?