Dr. Avnish Jolly, Winnipeg, Canada, November 10, 2014 : Albert Einstein said, “I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones”.
World War I resulted in the loss of huge numbers of lives amongst both civilians and military personnel. Remembrance Day commemorates those who died in armed conflicts, particularly in and since World War I. November 11 is officially called Remembrance Day, it is also known as Armistice Day and Poppy Day. Every year Canada celebrates Remembrance Day to marks the anniversary of the officially termination of the World War – I on November 11, 1918.
Remembrance Day is commemorated in particularly members of the Commonwealth, including Australia and New Zealand (where it is also referred to as Armistice Day). In the United States, Veterans Day falls on the same date. In the United Kingdom, the Sunday closest to November 11 is known as Remembrance Sunday.
Remembrance Day is symbolized by the artificial poppies that people wear and place at war memorials. The poppies may be worn or placed singly or as garlands. Poppies grow well in soil that has been disturbed. They also grew in large numbers on battle fields. The red color of their petals reminded people of the blood lost by victims of and casualties in the struggle. Some people choose to wear white poppies to campaign for non-military interventions in conflict state. Apparel the poppy as a symbol of remembrance comes from a poem written by John McCrae, a Canadian doctor serving in the military. The poem is called In Flanders Fields, May 1915 and describes the poppies growing in the Flemish graveyards where soldiers were buried.
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
On November 11, special church services are organized. These often include the playing of “The Last Post”, a reading of the fourth verse of the ‘Ode of Remembrance’ and two minutes silence at 11:00 (or 11am). After the service, wreaths are laid at local war memorials.