"They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them."
– The Ode
In the early hours of the morning of 11 November 1918, the Armistice was signed, agreeing that at 1100h on 11 November 1918, the guns of the Western Front would fall silent after four years of continuous warfare. It is no surprise that 11 November – the day the carnage stopped – became a date of enduring significance. Armistice Day, as it was known, became the day to commemorate the sacrifice of the war. A common misconception is that this is the day that World War I ended; with the peace treaty that officially ended the war was not signed until 28 June 1919.
Through World War I Australians had achieved a fighting reputation out of proportion to their numbers, but victory had come at a heavy cost. More than 60,000 Australians were killed, including 45,000 who died on the Western Front in France and Belgium and more than 8,000 who died on the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey.
On the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month, a minute's silence is observed and dedicated to those soldiers who died fighting to protect our nation. At the end of World War II, the United Kingdom proposed renaming Armistice Day to Remembrance Day to remember those who were killed in both World War I and World War II. Now, we remember the loss of Australian lives from all wars and conflicts.
Since World War I, we have been called on to serve in wars, conflicts, peacekeeping and humanitarian operations at home and around the world. According the the Australian War Memorial, 102,949 Australians have died serving their nation, while many more have answered the call. Remembrance Day is a time for Australians to unite in solemn respect and remembrance for all those who have served and died.
In 2022, Remember to Remember by supporting RSL Australia's campaign to keep the legacy of our fallen alive, through observing a minute's silence, attending a service, or donating to the Poppy Appeal.
There are many ways you can Remember, such as watching a service online or making a donation to the Poppy Appeal. So Remember to Remember today, and help preserve the memory of the Australian men and women who have served, and those who have died in war and on operations.
"When you go home, tell them of us and say
For your tomorrow, we gave our today."
– John Maxwell Edmonds