11th November has significance in both Australia and The Netherlands. I’ve already written about Sint Maarten which we are celebrating today in the North of Holland with our girls. In Australia, Remembrance Day is observed on the 11th day of the 11th month at the 11th hour. Then, 1 minute of silence is taken nationally to remember those who have died or suffered in military service. The link above leads you to the Department of Veteran Affairs and explains more about the day.
The symbol of the day is a red poppy and you will see these being sold and worn around during the month of November around Australia. I haven’t seen any this year and have missed them, though did see one man in Amsterdam airport as I flew back from Brisbane to Schiphol, with one on his lapel. I found it very special how in a busy airport, this small symbol caught my attention and did bring a wave of emotion of gratefulness for all the sacrifice so many have made and continue to do so.
Both my parents served in the Australian Navy before I was born, and i’ve been proud to watch my father march in some years in the ANZAC day parade. The dedication and sacrifice of so many in the military and their families well warrants more than one official day and I plan on observing both ANZAC Day and Remembrance day in our family while we live here in The Netherlands – though think my 3 and 5 year old are still a little young to understand and my chanced of keeping them quiet for a whole minute during the daytime is not likely just yet!
What I didn’t know until researching this post is that each year, a commemorative poster is produced. This year is recognising the contribution of Australian forces in the Vietnam War – of which my father was actually part of in the navy.
Do you observe Remebrance Day?
4 thoughts on “11 November is Remembrance Day in Australia”
I am so grateful that this year’s poster focuses on those who fought for or served our country in Vietnam. 60 000 Aussies represented Australia in the Army, Air Force or Navy, yet few of them were recognised in their time.
I met a Vietnam Vet at the shops one year, and a balloon popped. He still jumps at loud noises like that today. As he jumped, his wife, who also represented Australia in the war, looked at me and said, ‘He’s never been the same. What’s worse is he wasn’t looked after until five years ago.’
They deserve this dedication so much.
Thanks for your comment Jemma. My dad also served in Vietnam! Thankfully as far as I have seen he wasn’t so severely affected, but I am also so grateful for the sacrifices so many made and continue to.
* Am SO relieved that I was almost a year too old when the ballots for National Service started. I cannot imagine being in those situations.
* I SO remember my mother saying how touching it was to look down on to the Burgemeester Gaarlandsingel, in Gouda, from our flat/unit/apartment and see we children playing in the sun, ……….when the radio announced the observation of the minute’s silence. She was so fond of- and good- with children and so appreciated that we could play in peace. (Having been through the “hunger winter”, when I was 1 year old, during WWII.) I tried to briefly explain some of that when I was relieving principal, at my last school, during the 11 Nov., ceremony, at the school’s flagpole.
Thanks for your comments Joop, yes I also am very grateful my children can play without those worries. I think it’s important we continue to share stories and good that you did so at your last school.