Lest We Forget: 100 Years of Armistice Day

poppy day.jpeg

Every year in November, the UK and Commonwealth marks the wars that have scarred our past and the bravery of the men and women who fought them. Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday are a chance to remember not just those who fought, but what they fought for.

Armistice Day, held on November 11 every year, commemorates the signing of the armistice between the Allies and Germany at 11 am on 11 November 1918—the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. In Britain, it is tradition to pause for a two-minute silence at 11 am on November 11 to remember those killed in the two world wars and the British servicemen killed or injured since 1945. 

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place, and in the sky,
The larks, still bravely singing, fly,
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
— "In Flanders Fields" by John McCrae

In the US, Armistice Day was adopted as a national holiday in 1938. Following World War II, it was expanded recognize and celebrate the service of all American military veterans both living and deceased, and was hence known as Veterans Day.

Remembrance Sunday, sometimes informally known as Poppy Day, evolved out of the Armistice Day memorial and always falls on the second Sunday in November. The red remembrance poppy has become a familiar emblem of Remembrance Day due to the poem "In Flanders Fields" written by Canadian doctor Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae. After reading the poem, Moina Michael, a professor at the University of Georgia swore to wear a red poppy on the anniversary. Before long, poppies made their way to the UK and became the symbol of the Royal British Legion when it was formed in 1921. 

Commemorative Events in NYC

This year will mark Armistice Day’s 100th anniversary and there will be several events throughout New York City to commemorate this special day.

SGSNY Poppy Appeal

Remembrance poppies will be available for purchase from St. George's Society’s midtown office from the end of October. Contact us for more information.

Remembrance Day Observance

Sunday, 11 November 2018, 10:45 am | Queen Elizabeth II September 11th Garden

Annual service hosted by the Queen Elizabeth II September 11th Garden to commemorate members of the armed forces who have died in the line of duty. Wreath laying ceremony followed by readings. Free to attend and open to all.

Annual Flag Service & Choral Evensong

Sunday, 11 November 2018, 4:00 pm | Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue

This special evensong is offered in honor of those who have given their lives and those who have served in the Armed Forces as well as the Ninety-Eighth Annual Flag Service for the Patriotic and Historical Societies. Free to attend and open to all.

Mozart’s Requiem in D Minor and Barber’s Adagio for Strings Performed by the UNSCR Orchestra and Choir

Monday, 12 November 2018, 7:00 pm | United Nations ECOSOC Conference Chamber

Commemorative concert hosted by Dr. Paul Beresford-Hill CBE. Complimentary admission by advance registration ONLY. For reservations, please contact Chris Chan at CChan@mountbatten.org.