Log In

Reset Password

We must honour our heroes

We are about to celebrate Remembrance Day this weekend. We have a tendency to assume that everybody knows about matters of history just because we do.

We assume that young people automatically, or perhaps by osmosis, heard about, know about or care about important matters without taking the time to confirm this or share history with them.

For this reason I will take a moment to remind or inform readers about Remembrance Day.

Remembrance Day is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth countries since the end of the First World War to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty.

This day, or alternative dates, are also recognised as special days for war remembrances in many non-Commonwealth countries. America calls theirs Veterans’ Day.

Remembrance Day is observed on November 11 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. (“At the 11th hour” refers to the passing of the 11th hour, or 11am) the First World War officially ended with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919.

Because of the signing of the Armistice, an agreement to stop fighting, Remembrance Day is also known, mostly by older persons, as Armistice Day.

An armistice is a situation in a war where the warring parties agree to stop fighting.

It is not necessarily the end of a war, since it might be just a cessation of hostilities while an attempt is made to negotiate a lasting peace.

It is derived from the Latin arma, meaning weapons and statium, meaning a stopping.

Remembrance Day was specifically dedicated by King George V on November 7, 1919 as a day of remembrance for members of the armed forces who were killed during the First World War.

This was possibly done upon the suggestion of Edward George Honey to Wellesley Tudor Pole, who established two ceremonial periods of remembrance based on events in 1917.

The red remembrance poppy has become a familiar emblem of Remembrance Day due to the poem ‘In Flanders Fields’.

These poppies bloomed across some of the worst battlefields of Flanders, their brilliant red colour an appropriate symbol for the blood spilled in the war.

I’ve never fought in a war, but I served in the Bermuda Regiment for 22 years and through the army have trained alongside soldiers from other countries who have fought in wars.

I try to listen and learn from people I meet. From the accounts of these men and women, war is a nasty business, but is sometimes perceived as necessary for the greater good of the majority of humans and the promotion of freedom and democracy.

Those of us who did not live during the first two World Wars will never be able to understand the hardships that people endured; not just soldiers, many of whom lost their lives, limbs, sanity, resolve, their dignity, their pride or just their ability to take care of themselves and their families.

Difficulty was also inflicted upon regular citizens during this period, when food and basic supplies that we nowadays take for granted were rationed out, only issued in small amounts and infrequently.

Life was more simple back then but it was also more difficult for many.

We should make a point to take care of and show some respect for all veterans of any war and their families, survivors and descendants.

This is one way to honour them for their service and sacrifice.

So this Remembrance Day, Armistice Day or Veterans’ Day, let’s make a big fuss over our war heroes; simply because they and their families deserve it and it is the right thing to do. Let’s all wear poppies, donate and support the cause.

Peace, DJLT

You must be Registered or to post comment or to vote.

Published November 09, 2012 at 8:00 am (Updated November 08, 2012 at 3:44 pm)

We must honour our heroes

What you
Need to
1. For a smooth experience with our commenting system we recommend that you use Internet Explorer 10 or higher, Firefox or Chrome Browsers. Additionally please clear both your browser's cache and cookies - How do I clear my cache and cookies?
2. Please respect the use of this community forum and its users.
3. Any poster that insults, threatens or verbally abuses another member, uses defamatory language, or deliberately disrupts discussions will be banned.
4. Users who violate the Terms of Service or any commenting rules will be banned.
5. Please stay on topic. "Trolling" to incite emotional responses and disrupt conversations will be deleted.
6. To understand further what is and isn't allowed and the actions we may take, please read our Terms of Service
7. To report breaches of the Terms of Service use the flag icon