On 11 November 1918, the incessant boom of artillery along the Western Front in France went abruptly silent. One American officer suddenly heard water dripping off a bush next to him. Later, he recalled, “It seemed mysterious, queer, unbelievable.”
After four years and 106 days, the war was finally over. World War One was one of the worst conflicts in human history, leaving 8.5 million military casualties. Between 1914 and 1918, more than 100 countries from five continents were involved in the war.
Over a century later, November is still marked as a month of remembrance. On 11 November, countries across the world, including Canada, South Africa, and the UK, keep a two- minute silence at 11:00am. It is a moment to reflect respectfully on those who have died in conflicts throughout history. In the UK, many people wear red poppies on their clothes as a reminder of the blood spilt on battlefields. Others choose a white poppy to celebrate and campaign for peace.
This year marked 75 years since the end of WW2. In May, memorial services and celebrations took place across Europe to recall VE (Victory in Europe) Day, when war ended on the Western Front. On 6 August, survivors of the bombings in Hiroshima released lanterns of peace onto a lake.
How will you mark Remembrance Day?
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In 2018, British director Danny Boyle put together an art project to celebrate and remember those who gave their lives during WWI. Watch this video to find out more. Is it a good way to mark Remembrance Day?
- Without using a dictionary, write your own definitions of the following words: war, peace, memory.
- Research other works of art inspired by war or remembrance. Choose one you find effective and write one side of paper explaining why you think so.
- The experience of being at war has been described by poets for hundreds of years. Write a poem about peace.