Remembrance Day, Poppy Day or Armistice Day


Yesterday 9 November 2013 the South African Springbucks Rugby team played against Whales. The South African Springbok team helped raised awareness of Remembrance Day, Poppy Day or Armistice Day as it is known in most Common Wealth Countries around the world. The Springbucks jersey had a red poppy on the arm side of the jersey.

Although South Africa played an important part in the first world war and second world war the day is not commonly observed in South Africa and it was great to see the Springbucks rugby team raising the question about “Why they wore the Red Poppy on the Springbucks Jersey” helping to raise awareness of Remembrance Day.

Google New Zealand and Google Australia both have the red poppy below the Search bar announcing Remembrance Day. I remember seeing it last year as well on the New Zealand and Australia Google pages, but can’t remember it being on Google South Africa’s homepage. It will be interesting to see if Google will have it this year on the 11th of November 2013 on the South African Google pages.

Remembrance Day poppy

According to Wikipedia Remembrance Day is

Remembrance Day (also known as Poppy Day or Armistice Day) is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth countries since the end of World War I to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty. This day, or alternative dates, are also recognized as special days for war remembrances in many non-Commonwealth countries. Remembrance Day is observed on 11 November to recall the end of hostilities of World War I 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 11:00 am) World War I officially ended with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on 28 June 1919.

The day was specifically dedicated by King George V on 7 November 1919 as a day of remembrance for members of the armed forces who were killed during World War I. 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 Initial or Very First Armistice Day was held at Buckingham Palace commencing with King George V hosting a “Banquet in Honor of The President of the French Republic” during the evening hours of November 10, 1919. The First Official Armistice Day was subsequently held on the Grounds of Buckingham Palace on the Morning of November 11, 1919. This would set the trend for a day of Remembrance for decades to come.

Remembrance Day

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 in World War I, their brilliant red color an appropriate symbol for the blood spilled in the war.

If you would like to learn more about Remembrance Day we encourage you to read the rest of the Wikipedia article on

Remembrance Day

, the article is quite comprehensive and provides lots of detailed information about the countries where Remembrance Day is celebrated and the history behind Remembrance Day.

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