Remembrance Day falls on a Monday this year, so the Sunday before (the 10th November) is when many people will be remembering the lost and fallen. Next Sunday will be Remembrance Sunday. It’s a time when we think about people who are no longer with us.
London in real life has poppies covering the Tower of London. So in Second Life we choose to honour our lost loved ones in a similar way with a garden of remembrance.
During the week people have come along to reflect and share some quiet time. One strange visitor looked more unusual than most. Here’s a picture for you to add a caption to – with this unusual character in it.
Poppy Day as it is popularly known is remembered each year and poppies are bought to help dependents of the fallen and rehabilitate injured.
A Little about Remembrance Day
Remembrance Day is commemorated on the 11th November each year, and marks the end of World War I in 1918. The intention of the day is to remember the fallen on both sides in the ‘Great war’.
On the face of it, that all appears quite straightforward, yet, as with many holidays if we look a little deeper, we soon see things aren’t quite as simple they seem.
11th November has an older tradition that, is by coincidence associated with war and peace. In the Christian calendar it was known as ‘Martinmas’ or St. Martin’s day.
Martin was a Roman soldier who converted to Christianity, and because of his new found religion, refused to fight under a pagan flag. After leaving the army, Martin (ironically named after Mars, the Roman god of war) became a monk, rising up through the orders to eventually become a bishop in Gaul (modern day France).
In the context of the modern day holiday, 11th November marks the signing of the armistice (peace agreement) between the Allies and Germany at Compiègne, France.
The armistice took effect at eleven o’clock in the morning – the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.”
However, while this date is used to reflect the end of the whole war, it technically relates to the cease fire on the Western Front; fighting continued after 11th November in parts of the Ottoman Empire. It’s a little known fact that World War I didn’t legally end until Allied Forces left Constantinople (now Istanbul) on August 23rd 1923.
After the ‘end’ of the war in 1918, it didn’t take long before the signing of the armistice was adopted as a suitable time and date for countries involved in the war to mark the sacrifice of their soldiers, with official remembrance services taking place in the UK and USA in 1919.
Despite this common history, Remembrance Day has evolved in different ways around the world. Depending on where you are in the world, it can be known as Armistice Day, Veterans’ Day, Remembrance Day, Poppy Day and may not even be celebrated on November 11th!
In the United States, the day was renamed to Veteran’s day in 1954, after a campaign by a member of the public to extend the commemorations to include the fallen of World War II and other conflicts.
In the UK, the official commemoration of Remembrance Day was moved to the Sunday closest to 11th November in 1939, to avoid any disruption to production in factories supporting the war effort. This Sunday observance of Remembrance Day has remained since, though the 11th may also be marked with a moment of silence at 11am.
In Australia and New Zealand, the events and losses at Gallipoli have taken a deeper hold on the psyche, and the ANZAC day celebrations are the main occasion for people to remember the fallen of conflicts.
The day is marked by an official holiday in both France and Belgium. While the end of the war may be seen as a time for happiness and celebration; the unprecedented loss of life in the war means that the day is a somber day of reflection. In France, the day is marked by parades across the country, such as the grand parade at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.