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Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day – Veterans Day

Lt. Nawang Kapadia died on 11th November 2000 at 11.00 a.m. By sheer coincidence, this happens to be the exact date and time when the world observes ” The Remembrance Day” (in UK and Europe) or as “ The Veteran’s Day” in the USA.

Veterans Day, is an annual holiday in the United States honouring veterans of the armed forces and also the men and women killed in the country’s wars. The observance originated as Armistice Day, which was set aside by the United States, Great Britain, and France to commemorate the ending of World War I (Nov. 11, 1918). After World War II it was recognized as a day of tribute to the veterans and the dead of that conflict as well. In Canada it came to be known as Remembrance Day, and in Great Britain the Sunday nearest November 11 was proclaimed Remembrance Sunday honouring the dead of both World Wars. In 1954, after the Korean War, the date was officially designated in the United States as Veterans Day to honour servicemen of all U.S. wars.

Veterans Day is usually observed with parades, speeches, and floral tributes placed on servicemen’s graves or memorials. In the United States, group naturalization ceremonies have come to be an important part of the day’s activities. Special Veterans Day services are held at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Va., and at similar shrines in other countries.

The UK and Europe observes the nearest Sunday, closest to November 11 for the same purpose. In a moving ceremony, at the Westminster in London, the entire political establishments, armed forces led by the Queen of England observes two minutes silence at 11.00 a.m. local time. The soldiers and their sacrifices ranging from the world war till the present day are remembered and honoured with memories. In a moving narration on the BBC describing the ceremony, the facts and figures of the early years included many Indian soldiers and their sacrifices, particularly in the Second World War where almost hundred thousands Indian soldiers laid down their lives. Thus this day, also has a special significance for India.

Exactly at 11.00 a.m. in London, the last post is sounded and everyone stands in respect in silence. Many families who have lost their near ones, friends in many wars stand in silence for 2 minutes at 11.00 a.m. on 11th November, — wherever they are.

This year we circulated these details of Remembrance Day to all our friends and requested them to observe a 2-minute silence in their own way. Many of them wrote back, that they always did this and now would remember Lt. Nawang also during this minutes of tributes. A week or fortnight before this day, all over the west, people wear red poppies made out of paper in remembrance and contribute for the war widows and other needy persons.

From the next year we hope to start something of such nature, for observing Remembrance Day in India. May be we can have our very own version; wear a rose or a small khukri in memory of all the soldiers killed in Kashmir. Just as the civilians the world over pay tributes in memory of the heroes, we in India, should develop this date to remember our martyrs in Kashmir in particular.

Suggestions from friends and readers in this respect are welcome.

Remembrance Day-Veterans Day Sites

America : http://www1.va.gov/vetsday/

United Kingdom : http://www.poppy.org.uk/who/remember_sunday.asp
Australia : http://www.dva.gov.au/commem/rememb/Rem_day.htm

Canada : http://canada.kos.net/remembrance.html