Front page of The New York Times on Armistice Day, 11 November 1918
|Observed by||Belgium, France, United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria and many other countries|
|Significance||Commemoration of the signing of the Armistice between the Allied Powers and the Central Powers effectively ending all military operations and hostilities in all theatres and fronts of World War I at Compiègne, France|
|Next time||11 November 2019|
|First time||World's first official observance at Buckingham Palace, London, on 11 November 1919|
|Related to||Coincides with Remembrance Day and Veterans Day; and related to Remembrance Sunday|
Armistice Day is commemorated every year on 11 November to mark the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France at 5:45 am,for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front of World War I, which took effect at eleven o'clock in the morning—the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month" of 1918. But, according to Thomas R. Gowenlock, an intelligence officer with the US First Division, shelling from both sides continued for the rest of the day, only ending at nightfall. The armistice initially expired after a period of 36 days and had to be extended several times. A formal peace agreement was only reached when the Treaty of Versailles was signed the following year.
The Armistice of 11 November 1918 was the armistice that ended fighting on land, sea and air in World War I between the Allies and their opponent, Germany. Previous armistices had been agreed with Bulgaria, the Ottoman Empire and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Also known as the Armistice of Compiègne from the place where it was signed at 5:45 a.m. by the French Marshal Foch, it came into force at 11:00 a.m. Paris time on 11 November 1918 and marked a victory for the Allies and a defeat for Germany, although not formally a surrender.
The Allies of World War I or Entente Powers is the term commonly used for the coalition that opposed the Central Powers of Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria during the First World War (1914–1918).
The German Empire, also known as Imperial Germany, was the German nation state that existed from the unification of Germany in 1871 until the abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm II in 1918.
The date is a national holiday in France, and was declared a national holiday in many Allied nations.
There are 11 official public holidays in France. The Alsace region and the Moselle department observe 2 additional days. Contrary to most countries, these holidays do not shift when they fall during a week-end, which means that the average number of observed public holidays falling on weekdays is 8.7 and ranges from 7 to 10. Most Asian countries and all North American countries observe between 2 and 10 more public holidays per year on weekdays.
During World War II, many countries changed the name of the holiday. Member states of the Commonwealth of Nations adopted Remembrance Day, while the US chose Veterans Day.
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally known as the Commonwealth, is a unique political association of 53 member states, nearly all of them former territories of the British Empire. The chief institutions of the organisation are the Commonwealth Secretariat, which focuses on intergovernmental aspects, and the Commonwealth Foundation, which focuses on non-governmental relations between member states.
Remembrance Day is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth member states since the end of the First World War to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty. Following a tradition inaugurated by King George V in 1919, the day is also marked by war remembrances in many non-Commonwealth countries. Remembrance Day is observed on 11 November in most countries to recall the end of hostilities of First World War on that date in 1918. Hostilities formally ended "at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month", in accordance with the armistice signed by representatives of Germany and the Entente between 5:12 and 5:20 that morning. The First World War officially ended with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on 28 June 1919.
Veterans Day is an official United States public holiday observed annually on November 11, honoring military veterans, that is, persons who have served in the United States Armed Forces. It coincides with other holidays including Armistice Day and Remembrance Day which are celebrated in other countries that mark the anniversary of the end of World War I. Major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, when the Armistice with Germany went into effect. At the urging of major U.S. veteran organizations, Armistice Day was renamed Veterans Day in 1954.
On 11 November 2018, the centenary of the World War One Armistice, commemorations were held globally. In France, more than 60 heads of government and heads of state gathered at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.
The first Armistice Day was held at Buckingham Palace, commencing with King George V, hosting a "Banquet in Honour of the President of the French Republic"during the evening hours of 10 November 1919. The first official Armistice Day events were subsequently held in the grounds of Buckingham Palace on the morning of 11 November 1919, which included a two-minute silence as a mark of respect for those who died in the war and those left behind. This would set the trend for a day of remembrance for decades to come.
Buckingham Palace is the London residence and administrative headquarters of the monarch of the United Kingdom. Located in the City of Westminster, the palace is often at the centre of state occasions and royal hospitality. It has been a focal point for the British people at times of national rejoicing and mourning.
George V was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India, from 6 May 1910 until his death in 1936.
The French Third Republic was the system of government adopted in France from 1870, when the Second French Empire collapsed during the Franco-Prussian War, until 10 July 1940 after France's defeat by Nazi Germany in World War II led to the formation of the Vichy government in France.
Similar ceremonies developed in other countries during the inter-war period. In South Africa, for example, the Memorable Order of Tin Hats had by the late 1920s developed a ceremony whereby the toast of "Fallen Comrades" was observed not only in silence but darkness, all except for the "Light of Remembrance", with the ceremony ending with the Order's anthem "Old Soldiers Never Die".
South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. It is bounded to the south by 2,798 kilometres (1,739 mi) of coastline of Southern Africa stretching along the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans; to the north by the neighbouring countries of Namibia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe; and to the east and northeast by Mozambique and Eswatini (Swaziland); and it surrounds the enclaved country of Lesotho. South Africa is the largest country in Southern Africa and the 25th-largest country in the world by land area and, with over 57 million people, is the world's 24th-most populous nation. It is the southernmost country on the mainland of the Old World or the Eastern Hemisphere. About 80 percent of South Africans are of Sub-Saharan African ancestry, divided among a variety of ethnic groups speaking different African languages, nine of which have official status. The remaining population consists of Africa's largest communities of European (White), Asian (Indian), and multiracial (Coloured) ancestry.
The Memorable Order of Tin Hats (M.O.T.H.) was founded in 1927 by Charles Evenden as a brotherhood of South African former front-line soldiers. The ideal is to help comrades in need, either financially or physically; and to remember all servicemen who have answered the Sunset Call, both in war and peacetime.
In Britain, beginning in 1939, the two-minute silence was moved to the Sunday nearest to 11 November in order not to interfere with wartime production should 11 November fall on a weekday.This became Remembrance Sunday.
After the end of World War II, most member states of the Commonwealth of Nations, like the United Kingdom and (as Canada had in 1931), adopted the name Remembrance Day.
Other countries also changed the name of the holiday just prior to or after World War II, to honor veterans of that and subsequent conflicts. The United States chose All Veterans Day, later shortened to 'Veterans Day', to explicitly honor military veterans, including those participating in other conflicts.
In the United Kingdom and Commonwealth countries, both Remembrance Day and Remembrance Sunday are commemorated formally, but are not public holidays. The National Service of Remembrance is held in London on Remembrance Sunday.
In the United States, Veterans Day honours American veterans, both living and dead. The official national remembrance of those killed in action is Memorial Day, which predates World War I. Some, including American novelist Kurt Vonnegut and American Veteran For Peace Rory Fanning, have urged Americans to resume observation of 11 November as Armistice Day, a day to reflect on how we can achieve peace as it was originally observed.
In Poland, National Independence Day is a public holiday, celebrated on 11 November to commemorate the anniversary of the restoration of Poland's sovereignty as the Second Polish Republic in 1918, after 123 years of partition by the Russian Empire, the Kingdom of Prussia and the Habsburg Empire.
"Armistice Day" remains the name of the holiday in France ("Armistice de la Première Guerre mondiale")
It has been a statutory holiday in Serbia since 2012. Serbia is an Allied force that suffered the biggest casualty rate in World War I. To commemorate their victims, people in Serbia wear Natalie's ramonda as a symbol of remembrance.
Ceremonies are held in Kenya over a weekend two weeks after Armistice Day. This is because of the armistice only reached African forces, the King's African Rifles, still fighting with great success in today's Zambia about a fortnight later, where the German and British commanders then had to agree on the protocols for their own armistice ceremony.
Anzac Day is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand that broadly commemorates all Australians and New Zealanders "who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations" and "the contribution and suffering of all those who have served". Observed on 25 April each year, Anzac Day was originally devised to honour the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who served in the Gallipoli Campaign, their first engagement in the Great War (1914–1918).
Memorial Day or Decoration Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering the people who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. The holiday, which is currently observed every year on the last Monday of May, was most recently held on May 28, 2018. Memorial Day was previously observed on May 30 from 1868 to 1970.
Remembrance Sunday is held in the United Kingdom as a day "to commemorate the contribution of British and Commonwealth military and civilian servicemen and women in the two World Wars and later conflicts". It is held at 11 a.m. on the second Sunday in November.
In Ireland, the National Day of Commemoration commemorates all Irish people who died in past wars or United Nations peacekeeping missions. It occurs on the Sunday nearest 11 July, the anniversary of the date in 1921 that a truce was signed ending the Irish War of Independence. The principal ceremony is held at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Dublin, Ireland.
Armed Forces Day is the broad term used to describe holidays observed by nations around the world to honor their military forces. It’s celebrated in the US as a day to appreciate all active duty service members. This isn’t to be confused with Veterans Day or Memorial Day.
Chilton is a town in County Durham, England. It is situated a few miles to the east of Bishop Auckland and a short distance to the south of Ferryhill, on the A167. The bypass on the A167 opened on 20 June 2005, cutting down the traffic through Chilton by up to 80%.
Edward George Honey was an Australian journalist who suggested the idea of five minutes of silence in a letter to a London newspaper in May 1919, about 6 months before the first observance of the Two-minute silence in London.
The remembrance poppy is an artificial flower that has been used since 1921 to commemorate military personnel who have died in war, and represents a common or field poppy, Papaver rhoeas. Inspired by the World War I poem "In Flanders Fields", and promoted by Moina Michael, they were first adopted by the American Legion to commemorate American soldiers killed in that war. They were then adopted by military veterans' groups in parts of the British Empire.
"For the Fallen" is a poem written by Laurence Binyon. It was first published in The Times in September 1914. The "Ode of Remembrance" is an ode taken from the poem. It is often recited at Remembrance Day services. Over time, the third and fourth stanzas of the poem have been claimed as a tribute to all casualties of war, regardless of state, and it is this selection of "For the Fallen" to which the term "Ode of Remembrance" usually refers.
Volkstrauertag is a public holiday in Germany two Sundays before the first day of Advent. It commemorates members of the armed forces and civilians who died in armed conflicts, to include victims of violent oppression. It was first observed in its modern form in 1952.
Henry Nicholas John Gunther was an American soldier and likely the last soldier of any of the belligerents to be killed during World War I. He was killed at 10:59 a.m., about one minute before the Armistice was to take effect at 11 a.m.
In the United Kingdom and other countries within the Commonwealth, a two-minute silence is observed as part of Remembrance Day to remember those who lost their lives in conflict. Held each year at 11.00am on 11 November, the silence coincides with the time in 1918 at which the First World War came to an end with the cessation of hostilities, and is generally observed at war memorials and in public places throughout the UK and Commonwealth. A two-minute silence is also observed on Remembrance Sunday, also at 11.00am.
The First World War Centenary is the centenary of the First World War, which started on 28 July 2014 with commemorations of the outbreak of the war and ended on 11 November 2018.
The Gibraltar Cross of Sacrifice is a war memorial in the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar. It is located west of North Front Cemetery, at the junction of Winston Churchill Avenue and Devil's Tower Road. The Cross of Sacrifice was designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield in 1917, and his monument is found in numerous Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemeteries. The cross in Gibraltar was erected by the Royal Engineers for the commission, and unveiled on Armistice Day 1922. The British Pathé film recorded at the dedication ceremony that day represents the first motion picture made in Gibraltar. The Gibraltar Cross of Sacrifice served as the focus of Remembrance Sunday ceremonies in Gibraltar until 2009, at which time the location was changed to the Gibraltar War Memorial.
The centenary of the outbreak of World War I was commemorated in Europe in late July and early August 2014. A century earlier, the July Crisis, which occurred after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, had culminated in Austria-Hungary declaring war on the Kingdom of Serbia, which Austria-Hungary blamed for the assassination, on 28 July 1914. Over the following days and weeks, this action and the invasion of Luxembourg and Belgium by the German Empire led to a succession of other declarations of war that drew the major European powers into a worldwide conflict. A century later, governments in Europe held a series of official commemorative events to mark the occasion.
The National Service of Remembrance is held annually on Remembrance Sunday at The Cenotaph on Whitehall, London. It commemorates "the contribution of British and Commonwealth military and civilian servicemen and women in the two World Wars and later conflicts". The service has its origins in the 1920s and has changed little in format since.
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