November 11, 1918
Originally called Armistice Day, this day is observed in Commonwealth countries to mark the official end of the First World War in 1918 “at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month” with the German signing of the Armistice and to commemorate those who lost their lives in war. On the first anniversary of the armistice in 1919 a minute’s silence was instituted as part of the ceremony and the Flanders poppy was worn throughout the allied countries as the flower of remembrance. The red poppies were among the first plants that sprouted from the battlefields of northern France and Belgium and its vivid red flowers were symbolic of the blood of fallen comrades.
After the end of World War ll in 1945, the Australian and British governments changed the name of Armistice Day to Remembrance Day as the appropriate title to commemorate the brave soldiers who died in Australia’s cause in wars.