Now more than ever it is important that we remember. As we approach the 99th anniversary of Armistice Day, on Saturday 11 November, it is good to reflect on the enormous sacrifice of our forebears, lest we ever find ourselves at war again.
Armistice Day - Wreath Laying Ceremony
Bridge of Remembrance, Christchurch. Saturday 11 November
- 10.45am Gather with the Veterans if you wish to walk in the procession up to the bridge for the ceremony.
- 10.50am Viewing public gather for ceremony at the bridge.
- 11.00am 2 minutes silence will be held.
I grew up in Australia and I can still remember being told at school to sit in silence for a minute - and not fully understanding why. This followed by many silent but awkward looks around the classroom as one and all struggled to either remain silent; or willfully goaded their classmates into doing something that they would be reprimanded for. It wasn't lost on me that it was out of respect for people that had fought in the war but what that means to me now is vastly different to what it meant to me then.
Fortunately, most of our children today have very little concept of war and the suffering it brings; as it is something far beyond their living memory. Even their grandparents are now the baby boomers rather than coming from a generation that lived through either of the world wars. Maybe because of this, you get the sense that recent years have seen a decline of recognition of such solemn occasions as Armistice Day. I honestly can't recall a time in the last few years that I paused at work to mark the moment. With all of us attending to busy lives, 11am has simply passed without comment from everybody in the vicinity. And this is rather sad.
I think we need to bring Armistice Day back into the spotlight. I think it would stand us all in good stead if we do have timely reminders of the loss, misery and horror that war represents. So let us not forget, let us always remember, let us instill these values into our children so they can lead the way for theirs.
Come down and see us at the library and we will be more than happy to share our numerous Armistice Day resources with you. Then gather up your loved ones and head over to the Bridge of Remembrance on Saturday 11th November. Arrive in plenty of time to get a good spot where you can share in this solemn occasion and quietly reflect at 11am for a minutes silence.
Lest we forget...
- Our page on Armistice Day
- Armistice Day and its history
- Bridge of Remembrance
- Bridge of Remembrance: history and symbolic features
- DigitalNZ set Armistice Day and the Bridge of Remembrance
- Watch footage: Parisians celebrate Armistice Day 1918 on Access Video