Remembrance Day: quotes, facts, and history
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In this guide, we’ll offer some great Remembrance Day quotes that you can use in your designs — and reveal some facts about the occasion that show just how important the event is.
What is Remembrance Day?
In the UK, Remembrance Day honours the men and women who have died in conflicts since the First World War.
It takes place every year on 11th November and is marked by a two minutes’ silence at 11am. Remembrance Sunday falls on the second Sunday of November.
On Remembrance Day, local ceremonies take place in small villages and major cities alike — a reminder of how many people sacrificed their lives for the country. A televised event takes place on Remembrance Sunday at the Cenotaph in London.
History of Remembrance Day
On the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month, the guns fell silent. The 1918 armistice of the First World War marked the end of one of the deadliest conflicts in human history.
To commemorate the anniversary of the peace in 1919, King George V dedicated November 11th as Armistice Day and requested the nation pause for two minutes’ silence. In 1939, the main commemorations were moved to a Sunday.
The government renamed Armistice Day as Remembrance Day as a way to honour those who had fought and died in the Second World War. Today, the event is a way to commemorate those who have died in any war — not just the First and Second World Wars.
Remembrance Day traditions
In the lead up to Remembrance Day and during the event itself, millions of people wear poppies on their clothing and lay wreaths on memorials. But why poppies?
Poppies grew in many First World War battlefields. For soldiers, their growth was in stark contrast to the death and destruction they saw in the trenches (to put this in context, over 150,000 people died in the Battle of Passchendaele in Flanders, Belgium).
These poignantly featured in John McCrae’s iconic war poem, In Flanders Fields:
“In Flanders Fields, the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row”
Poppies remained an enduring symbol of the war even after it had ended. Silk poppies were first used to raise money for the Royal British Legion in 1921.
They later switched to the paper poppies familiar today. But though the material has changed, poppies have been made in the same factory since the 1920s — and still employs a workforce made up of former soldiers with health conditions.
10 Remembrance Day quotes
Speeches, poetry, and literature are an important part of the way Britons reflects on conflict.
In the First World War, poets like Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen helped shine a light on the suffering in the trenches. In the Second World War, Winston Churchill built morale with his eloquent, powerful wireless broadcasts.
Here are some Remembrance Day quotes you can use as a starting point.
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.”
Use McCrae’s poem to create your own Remembrance Day quote poster.
We will remember them
“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.”
We will remember them is a simple, powerful quote from Laurence Binyan. It’s a great choice for a Remembrance Day background wallpaper.
Never such innocence
“Never such innocence,
Never before or since,
As changed itself to past
Without a word — the men
Leaving the gardens tidy,
The thousands of marriages,
Lasting a little while longer:
Never such innocence again.”
Making a flyer for a Remembrance Day event? Philip Larkin’s evocative verse would work well on the reverse.
And Death Shall Have No Dominion
“Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.”
Making a banner? Dylan Thomas’ poem would make a great addition to the design.
Lest we forget
“Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget — lest we forget!”
Rudyard Kipling’s concise line is a classic Remembrance Day quote. Incorporate it into a powerful Facebook post.
Make peace with your enemy
“If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.”
Why not use Nelson Mandela’s important quote as part of an impactful Twitter header?
Heroes and She-roes.
“How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!”
Give thanks for the sacrifices of earlier generations with Maya Angelou’s quote. Perfect for an inspirational Instagram square post.
The poetry is the pity
“My subject is War, and the pity of War. The Poetry is in the pity.”
Do you love war poets like Wilfred Owen? Why not post an Instagram story this Remembrance Day.