Let's Not Forget Remembrance DayNovember 10, 2014
On June 28, 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife, Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg, were shot dead in Sarajevo. The motives were political in nature, but the event would be catastrophic. This led to World War I. The five-year conflict would leave 16 million people dead and 20 million more wounded.
Remembrance Day, which falls on November 11, remembers the pact that put an end to the First World War. Paying tribute to the soldiers who lost their lives during the war is observed throughout the world, but this occasion would be for the men in uniform from the Commonwealth nations. There's a link to Anzac Day, which honours the fallen soldiers from Australia and New Zealand. It also celebrates Australia's coming of age, which comes out of this tragedy.
Many things happened after a century. In fact, the younger generation could hardly relate to Remembrance Day unless they have grandparents who took part in the First World War. But the event would be more significant than ever.
Band of brothers
There would be an element of kinship behind Remembrance Day brought about by tragedy. If not for this unfortunate event, there was still something to reminisce about the past. After all, the British Empire seemed like a setting for a romantic tale. Everyone was looking forward to the future, as science and technology was making great stride. Art was unparalleled as well. (Some scholars would dispute it, as certain parts of the continent experienced a cultural flourishing as well. But the Empire was like no other.) Then the war changed everything.
"One-hundred years ago, the horror of all ages came together to open the curtain on mankind's greatest century of violence," former prime minister Paul Keating said during last year's ceremony.
"Despite the fact that the military campaigns were shockingly flawed and incompetently executed, those ordinary people distinguished themselves by their latent nobility."
"The unknown Australian soldier interred in this memorial reminds us of these lessons, as much as he reminds us of the 100,000 Australians lost to us by war."
Show your poppy
One of the major battles of World War I took place in a poppy field in Flanders. This flowering plant looked charming on a sunny afternoon, but this image was stained one hundred years ago. This would prompt those who were observing Remembrance Day to don a poppy.
So many things happened since the end of World War I. The world wasn't like back then. Many would hardly recall the events of that period, while some won't care at all. But it's better to look for a poppy and show it on the eleventh of November. It's the least we could to do to pay tribute to the dead soldiers, our kin, who died thousands of miles from home. If not for them, then the outcome might've changed the course of events. Let's show our respect.
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