It has been over a 100 years since the beginning of the First World War. The Great War was supposed to be the war to end all wars. It’s brutality, new technologies and enormous loss of life have left scars that are still felt today. Empires fell, Nations were formed and the collective consciousness of the entire world was altered. As we all know, the Great War was not the end of brutalities in the 20th century.

Aside from immeasurable local conflicts, the 20th century witnessed another World War, the Holocaust, the Korean and the Vietnam war, to name but a few. And so, since 1919, we have celebrated Remembrance Day or Veterans Day in the United States. 

More than anything, Remembrance/Veterans Day is about remembering the sacrifices that have been made for us, our countries and of the soldier themselves. Soldiers on both sides lived moments of pure horror and agony. The days and weeks of sitting in dark, muddy trenches, the trauma of battle, the emotional and physical scars that last a lifetime.

November 11th is a day to reflect and remember our history and pay respects to those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Today is a day of remembrance, a day where we honour the lives of the nameless and of our loved ones who fought and fell. So on this Remembrance and Veterans Day, we take a moment of silence, close our eyes and honour all those brave men and women who died serving their countries. Let us hope that we will never have to re-visit the horrors of the 20th century.

Remembrance Day: Why We Remember

Quick Facts about Remembrance Day:

  1. Remembrance Day was first observed in 1919 throughout the British Commonwealth. It was originally called Armistice Day to commemorate the agreement that ended the First World War. The First World War ended on Monday, November 11, 1918, at 11 a.m.
  2. November 11th is a day where people around the world honour those who fought for their countries, including the more than 1,500,000 Canadians who have served throughout it’s history and the more than 118,000 who died in service.
  3. The United States used to commemorate Remembrance Day on November 11. However they changed the name to Veterans Day to honour the veterans of every war in 1954.

The Poppy Field Project:

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In honour of 100 years since the beginning of the Great War, the Poppy Field Project was started. This interactive project depicts all the wars since the year 1900. The wars are visualized by stems and poppies. The longer the stem, the longer the war. The larger the poppy, the greater the deaths. Finally, the variation of colour represents the areas involved in each war.

After the end of the First World War, the poppy became an international symbol of commemoration and memorialization. Its colour is reminiscent of blood and it was one of the first plants to start growing in the devastated European fields. The Poppy Field Project is a stark reminder that the world has seen over 200 conflicts since the war to end all wars. This project is a reflection on the human cost of war.


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