Remembrance Day in Australia is an occasion to commemorate and remember all Australians who have died as a result of war.
When is Remembrance Day?
Remembrance Day falls on the 11th November each year.
On the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month, a minutes’ silence is observed and dedicated to those soldiers who died fighting to protect the nation.
In Australia and other allied countries, including New Zealand, Canada and the United States, 11 November became known as Armistice Day – a day to remember those who died in World War One. The day continues to be commemorated in Allied countries.
After World War Two, the Australian Government agreed to the United Kingdom’s proposal that Armistice Day be renamed Remembrance Day to commemorate those who were killed in both World Wars. Today the loss of Australian lives from all wars and conflicts is commemorated on Remembrance Day.
Why is this day special to Australians?
At 11am on 11th November 1918, the guns on the Western Front fell silent after more that four years of continuous warfare. The allied armies had driven the German invaders back, having inflicted heavy defeats upon them over the preceeding four months.
In November, the Germans called for an armistice (suspension of fighting) in order to secure a peace settlement. They accepted the allied terms of unconditional surrender. The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month attained a special significance in the post-war years and became universally associated with the remembrance of those who had died in the war.
In 1997, Govenor-General Sir William Deane issued a proclamation formally declaring 11th November to be Remembrance Day, urging all Australians to observe one minutes silence at 11am on 11th November each year to remember those who died or suffered for Australia’s cause in all wars and armed conflicts.