Remembrance Day is a chance to acknowledge and pay respects to those that have died in wars, conflicts or peacekeeping missions.
At Classics for a Cause, as part of our Corporate Social Responsibility program, we donate every month to our veteran charity partners to support Aussie veterans.
Yet it’s about more than just money. Each and every one of us can honour those that have laid down their lives in service of Australia. We do this by taking the time to reflect on their sacrifices and learn about modern veterans’ struggles.
But before we get too in-depth, let’s clarify some important details.
Remembrance Day celebrates and commemorates the day the First World War ended. It falls on the 11th of November each year.
All throughout Australia and the entire Commonwealth, a minute of silence is taken at the 11th minute of the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.
Even if you’re busy working or out doing whatever, I’d encourage every one of you to take just one minute to honour the sacrifices of all our fallen soldiers.
They’ve earnt that respect.
We celebrate Remembrance Day because it was the day the First World War ended. Yet it has now come to symbolise the sacrifices of soldiers in every conflict since.
Up to 8.5 million soldiers and 13 million civilians were killed in the First World War alone. One-third of them were never buried in graves.
We may never know their names. We may never know the small ways they protected their people. But we can acknowledge their courage and bravery.
By respecting their sacrifices, we also recognise our duty to uphold the peace.
Because we all know the pain and suffering war causes, the best way to honour our soldiers is by ensuring the same sacrifices must never be made again.
Remembrance Day is not a public holiday but millions of Aussies reflect on its importance each year.
This year it falls on a Friday. At the 11th minute of the 11th hour, most schools, businesses and public areas will hold a minute of silence to honour those that have fallen so we may live free.
Many people (myself included!) will also wear a red poppy. This resilient flower is worn as a show of support for the Armed Forces community.
Each Aussie state has a major memorial that serves as a permanent tribute to our soldiers and their sacrifice.
However, there are more local shrines dotted around most communities. They can be simple plaques to grand monuments and museums.
Some of the most common forms of memorials include:
Many people will gather around these areas during major events like Anzac Day.
But plenty of practical places are also dedicated to soldiers or act as war memorials. These might be gardens, pavilions, hospitals or halls.
All types of memorials, big and small, are a place for people to connect and remember our fallen soldiers.
There are plenty of ways you can support Australian veterans this Remembrance Day. Making sure you take that minute of silence is important.
Wearing a poppy is also a simple way to signal your support. You might choose to support an Australian veteran’s charity or head down to your local RSL.
If there’s a service person in your life, then reach out to them. Don’t be pushy but give them a chance to open up to you and share their experience.
Even if you don’t know any Australian veterans or soldiers, starting conversations around the significance of the day is important.
If you have kids, then see how much they know about the day. Or you might try to put yourself in the soldier’s shoes and discuss how that made you feel.
The most important thing you can do is generate discussion and awareness.