Remeberance Day - Poppy Day

25 min read

Deviation Actions

daliscar's avatar
Remembrance Day - Poppy Day

Many countries have a special day to remember those that fell in their wars; America has Veterans Day, while France has Armistice Day. The British commemorate those who fought, and are still fighting, in wars for their country on Remembrance Day.

Never Forget by BirdMan007 Rememberance by Blocky-Bloxham Rememberance 2 by theultimatementor :thumb25075035: Poppy by Crossie corn-poppy2 by ggZZmm :thumb65747713: Poppy girl by demony

The British Remembrance Day is always held on the 11 November. This is the day that World War One ended in 1918, when the armistice was signed in Compiègne, Northern France, at 5am. Six hours later, the fighting stopped, and to commemorate this there is a two minute silence in the UK at 11am, every 11 November.

Poppy and Thunderstorm by Hartmut-Lerch :thumb87686799: poppy-field I by Marutca :thumb76990886:
Poppy Towers by mizarek Poppy field before storm by Floriandra POPPY by epsdesign :thumb56698493:
poppy field by gbog poppy. by so-meo-ne Poppy by Jaagaa poppy by nippon-san

The period of silence was first proposed by a Melbourne journalist, Edward George Honey, in a letter published in the London Evening News on 8 May 1919, which subsequently came to the attention of King George V. On 7 November, 1919, the king issued a proclamation which called for a two-minute silence:

Veterans by ratko

All locomotion should cease, so that, in perfect stillness, the thoughts of everyone may be concentrated on reverent remembrance of the glorious dead.

Survivors by orinu

As well as the two-minute silence, there are marches around the country by war veterans. The Royal Family, along with leading politicians, gather at the Cenotaph, a large war memorial in Whitehall, in London.

Remembrance Day - Poppy Day by daliscar Wild Poppy by Hitomii poppy by def-ROCK-prinCESS Poppy by Sintija

The nearest Sunday to the 11th is called Remembrance Sunday, when church services are held in honour of those involved in wars, and wreaths are laid on the memorials which have a place in every town. Many two-minute silences are followed by a lone bugler playing The Last Post, reminiscent of times of war when trumpets were as much a part of battle as bayonets. A poem called 'For the Fallen' is often read aloud on the occasion; the most famous stanza of which reads:

Tulip by liliumdk Pop-Popp-Poppy by bittersweetvenom :thumb89605608: Remembered by IslandJoe

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.

Fourth stanza of 'For the Fallen' by Laurence Binyon (1869 - 1943)
These words can be found adorning many war memorials across the country. The author, Laurence Binyon, was never a soldier but certainly appreciated the horrors of war.

Where Are They? by erumoice

Remembrance day is taken very seriously, with disrespect being avoided at all costs (which is why the vandalisation of the Cenotaph on 1 May 2000 was seen as such a horrific crime). If 11 November falls on a weekday, schools, workplaces and shopping centres generally attempt to observe the silence, although some people choose to ignore their attempts and go about their business regardless.


Remembrance Day is also known as Poppy Day, because it is traditional to wear an artificial poppy. They are sold by the Royal British Legion, a charity dedicated to helping war veterans, although they do not have a fixed price - they rely on donations.


The motto of the British Legion is Remember the dead; don't forget the living, and they are campaigners for issues relating to war veterans, especially elderly ones.

Thank You Veterans by yankeedog

The poppies are worn because in World War One the Western Front contained in the soil thousands of poppy seeds, all lying dormant. They would have lain there for years more, but the battles being fought there churned up the soil so much that the poppies bloomed like never before. The most famous bloom of poppies in the war was in Ypres, a town in Flanders, Belgium, which was crucial to the Allied defence. There were three battles there, but it was the second, which was calamitous to the allies since it heralded the first use of the new chlorine gas the Germans were experimenting with, which brought forth the poppies in greatest abundance, and inspired the Canadian soldier, Major John McCrae, to write his most famous poem. This, in turn, inspired the British Legion to adopt the poppy as their emblem.

The poppies grow by whtbaa

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

John McCrae (1872 - 1918)

vietnam war medals 2 by artgrunt

The American Moira Michael from Georgia, was the first person to wear a poppy in remembrance. In reply to McCrae's poem, she wrote a poem entitled 'We shall keep the faith' which includes the lines:

And now the Torch and Poppy Red
We wear in honor of our dead.

Veterans of WW2 2 by panthera-lee

She bought some poppies, wore one, and sold the others, raising money for ex-servicemen. Her colleague, French YMCA Secretary Madame Guerin, took up the idea and made artificial poppies for war orphans. It caught on.

Victory's Day by Novic

In November 1921, the British Legion and Austrian Returned Sailor's and Soldier's League sold them for the first time.

Tulip by liliumdk Pop-Popp-Poppy by bittersweetvenom :thumb89605608: Remembered by IslandJoe
:thumb78649087: Remembrance Day by Frankenteddy Greed by hellolikegoodbye Ladies Mantle Poppy? by KeswickPinhead

The tragic events in New York on 11 September 2001, left ever increasing numbers of people feeling stronger than ever the need for peace. This, in turn, prompted the manufacture of white poppies to represent peace. They are not a new idea, though. In fact, they date from 1933, having been designed by a UK Women's Guild. The British Legion was invited to produce them twice, in 1933 and 1988, but they not only declined, they also refused to accept the proceeds from them, because they were seen as disrespectful by some soldiers. They are having a surge in popularity once again as people stop feeling as safe as they once did.

Courtesy of the BBC

The Royal British Legion

Lest We Forget by godsavebritain Lest We Forget by PaulMcKinnon Remember by Megglles Remembrance 1 by dpt56
The War To End All Wars by Lucanos God Bless by bcw Remember by Fluidfyre We Shall Never Forget by Fire-Hawk
Never Forget by Echelons-lost-angel Lest We Forget by paolo91 hey poppy. by CheapshotRogue
War. by Little-miss-sponge :thumb45400785: Korean War Veterans Memorial by woobiee Cemetery and Memorial by virvar
:thumb23343897: Memorial 4 by iraqiguy War memorial by Ankhesenamon Canadian War Memorial France by ArtisteHannah
War Memorial Soldier by JolanthusTrel Polish War Memorial by kamilosNet :thumb84380165: NY's Korean War Memorial by Rizafan203
Memorial of the Fallen by decayedpagan Forgotten Fallen by TiberiusFox Commando Memorial by mad1dave Vimy - 4 by J-Y-M
Thiepval - 1 by J-Y-M Ypres Memorial. by xBlutundEhrex Cenotaph II by Frittz Cenotaph by DegeneratFhtagn
:thumb14108521: the cenotaph staircase by janrystar Remembrance by kakashi117 :thumb82007194:

On November 11 2008 it will be 90 Years since the guns fell silent and the the end of the First World War
© 2008 - 2022 daliscar
Join the community to add your comment. Already a deviant? Log In
Frankenteddy's avatar
Thanks for the feature! ^_^