Remembrance Day Poppy
Armistice Day, Remembrance Day, Poppy Day and the Day of Remembrance are the same but Remembrance Sunday is different. We explain the history behind this important day of remembrance and how it differs from Remembrance Sunday. 
 
Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday are not the same thing. Armistice day is also referred to as Remembrance Day which can be confusing.
 
Armistice day is commemorated on November 11 every year in the UK, and remembers the agreement between the Allies and Germany on November 11, 1918, to stop fighting which marked victory for the Allies and defeat for Germany.
 
At 5 am on 11 November 1918, three German government representatives accepted the Armistice terms presented to them by an allied commander, General Foch of the French Army. The demands of the Armistice included the withdrawal of German forces to the east bank of the Rhine within 30 days; immediate cessation of warfare; and surrender of the German fleet and all heavy guns with no further negotiations until the signing of the peace treaty.
 
The armistice became effective at 11am the same day, and as the guns fell silent on the Western Front in France and Belgium, and four years of hostilities ended.
 
The armistice forced the Germans to evacuate invaded countries and territories within two weeks. They also had to surrender a significant amount of war material, including five thousand guns, 25,000 machine guns, 1,700 planes. Germany, exhausted by war and with a nation of hungry citizens, reluctantly accepted the terms.
 
Field Of Poppies
 
Although hostilities continued in some areas, the armistice essentially brought an end to fours years of fighting in the First World War. The cease-fire was made permanent the following year when members of the Commonwealth and the League of Nations signed the Treaty of Versailles. People across the world celebrated the war's end - celebrations tempered by thoughts of the enormous suffering and loss of life resulting from the War.
 
In Australia and other allied countries, including New Zealand, Canada and the United States, 11 November became known as Armistice Day - a day to remember those who died in World War I. The day continues to be commemorated in Allied countries.

After World War II the Australian Government agreed to the United Kingdom's proposal that Armistice Day be renamed Remembrance Day to commemorate those who were killed in both World Wars. Today the loss of all allied lives from all wars and conflicts is commemorated on Remembrance Day.
 
Armistice day is always on November 11, whilst Remembrance Sunday is always on the second Sunday in November, so the date will change yearly. A two-minute silence is often acknowledged at schools, offices and churches around the country on Armistice Day.
 
Poppy Field
 
Two-Minutes Silence at 11 am
The idea of observing a period of silence was first proposed by Melbourne journalist Edward George Honey, who proposed a period of silence for national remembrance in a letter published in the London Evening News on 8 May 1919.
 
The suggestion came to the attention of King George V. After testing the practicality of five minutes’ silence – a trial was held with five Grenadier Guardsmen standing to attention for the silence – the King issued a proclamation on 7 November 1919 which called for a two-minute silence. His proclamation requested that "all locomotion should cease, so that, in perfect stillness, the thoughts of everyone may be concentrated on reverent remembrance of the glorious dead".
 
Significance of the Poppy
Red poppies are often worn on Remembrance Day. The tradition has its origins in a poem written in 1915 by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, a doctor in the Royal Canadian Medical Corps. Lieutenant Colonel McCrae noticed that, despite the devastation caused by the war to towns, farms and forests, thousands of small red poppies began growing everywhere in Spring. This inspired his poem, 
 
Lest We Forget
 
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.
 
The poem was first published in the British Punch magazine in December 1915 and within months came to symbolize the sacrifices of all who were fighting in World War 1.
 
In 1918 Moina Michael, an American, wrote a poem in reply, We Shall Keep the Faith, in which she promised to wear a poppy 'in honour of our dead' and so began the tradition of wearing a poppy in remembrance.
 
It was French YMCA Secretary, Madame Guerin, who in 1918 conceived the idea of selling silk poppies to help needy soldiers.
Poppies were first sold in Britain on Armistice Day in 1921 by members of the British Legion to raise money for those who had been incapacitated by the war.
 
Cenotaph, London, UKOn Remembrance Sunday a National Service of Remembrance is held at The Cenotaph in Whitehall in London every year. Members of the British Royal Family and the Government attend the service alongside representatives from the Armed Forces and the public. Another two-minute silence is held at 11 am before a number of wreaths are laid down.
 
The Royal Marines buglers usually sound The Last Post.
A number of veterans also take part in a march past The Cenotaph.
 
The PoppyIn the run up to Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday, veterans and authorised people will sell poppies at a number of locations across the country. The reason poppies are used is because they are the flowers that grew on the battlefields after the First World War ended.
 
Poppies are also used to raise money for service men and women  who are still alive but whose lives have been changed by war. The charity that runs the Poppy Appeal is called The Royal British Legion.