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11.11.11.11

  • November 14th, 2011
  • Posted by 7thmin

remembrance-day-party.jpgClose to a century since Armageddon, the out-break of the First World War – product of a hoax-diplomatic muddle, industrialisation of weaponry,  gross callousness and ineptitude in command of troops  – commemorations continue strongly, and globally each 11th November.

REMEMBERING THE FALLEN

Reiterating the record:-  The tragedy relented with the signing of an armistice at 11 am on 11 November 1918; the outcome so sour to the losers, demagoguery would triumph, and a new round of hostilities would commence after just 20 years, this time fully extending the horror to civilian populations – ending in the nuclear attacks on Japan.

img_7754.jpgRemembrance Day, often called Poppy day for the symbolic flowers, which sprung up on the graves of soldiers, is observed in Belgium and France, and  most of the 54 countries of the Commonwealth of Nations, which sent contingents to the fighting as members of the then British Empire.

See BBC Magazine, “Which countries wear poppies?”, 11.11.11 … http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-15637074, (14.11.11).

Observances this year took place in the Caribbean, Canada, India, West Africa, the battlefields of the Western front, the United Kingdom and Australia.

img_7729.jpgThe observance on the day in Australia sees hundreds of services i n cities, towns, suburbs and schools, though it does not draw the street marches and military reunions, or two-up games, that occur on the leading day of remembrance, ANZAC, on 25th April.

Similarly in the United States, Memorial Day, in May, takes precedence, though 11trh November is celebrated as Veterans’ day.

In Germany, days of mourning are convened by Churches, with a public holiday later in the month of November.

Reconciliation and peaceful resolution of conflict are part of the rhetoric of Remembrance Day services in this century.

At the worst battlefield, Verdun, (if the worst battlefield  is not along the Somme), the observance of loss is international; visitors are mostly from both France and Germany, and although the inscriptions on monuments erected in the 1920s are triumphalist, the two national flags are flown everywhere there together with the European banner.

The youngest military veterans of the Second World War are in their 80s, but the resolve to remember  looks stronger than ever; new generations making up the numbers to recall the lessons from “grandfather’s war”.

REMEMBERING THE COMMONWEALTH

Solidarity among the perhaps unlikely grouping of states that make up the Commonwealth has weathered the seasons.

Its heads of Government summit (CHOGM) held this year at Perth, in late October, resolved to extend its activities in protection of human rights.

commonwealth_of_nationssvg.pngOn the weekend (12.11.11), at St Kitts and Nevis, the Commonwealth Games Federation nominated the Gold Coast, in Australia, as host for the Games in 2018, (the next Games in 2014, will be in Scotland).

Recent decades have seen the Australian team dominate the event, but not in all sports, and now strong improvement in England (often adapting, and improving Australian management and training models), has redressed the balance.

Pictures  

Remembrance Day commemoration 2011, Queensland University of Technology, Australia – Louise Grayson; Commonwealth map –   Wikipedia.

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