Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Expat Observations: Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day is celebrated in Commonwealth countries on 11 November each year to observe the armistice on the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month" that ended hostilities on the Western Front in World War I in 1918. It is supposed to be a day for remembering all soldiers who have died in battle. However, like Anzac Day, it is still steeped in this mythology of World War I and the forging of Australia's national identity.

I find it fascinating how Australia still seems to have not moved on from the legend of the Gallipoli ANZAC soldiers. In the United States we have Memorial Day to celebrate those soldiers who have lost their lives (which commenced after the Civil War), and renamed Armistice Day to Veterans Day in 1954 to celebrate the service of all military veterans. These are much more inclusive holidays that honor those who have served in the armed forces in different wars over time. Perhaps one day Australia will focus more on the service of its more recent veterans and not those from 100 years ago.

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