Memorial Day: How 5 Countries Remember Their Fallen
In the United States, Memorial Day honors those who lost their lives while serving in the armed forces. Many observe the holiday by attending Memorial Day parades, visiting memorials, decorating cemeteries with flags and flowers, family gatherings, and other traditions.
But what about other cultures? How do they honor the troops who fell while fighting for their country?
Here are five countries who observe holidays similar to our Memorial Day.
1. United Kingdom
Remembrance Day is observed in the UK on November 11th as a day to honor fallen soldiers who died in the line of duty. It evolved from Armistice Day, which commemorates the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany – ending the “War to End All Wars”.
Informally, the holiday is known to many as Poppy Day because the barren landscape created during the war did not stop bright red poppies from growing in the thousands. They became a symbol of resilience and strength, and many wear red poppy pins on Remembrance Day as a result.
2. New Zealand and Australia
Anzac Day is observed in Australia and New Zealand on April 25th, the anniversary of the first military action taken in World War I by forces of both nations. The word “Anzac” stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.
It honors all those who have served and died in war, conflict, and peacekeeping missions since then. Ex-servicemen hold marches in major cities and memorials are held through the countries on Anzac Day.
Turkey observes Martyrs’ Day on March 18th and commemorates all those who perished while serving their country. The date is the anniversary of a major victory in World War I during the Gallipoli Campaign.
Ceremonies are held throughout the country to remember fallen Turkish soldiers.
National Unity and Armed Forces Day is observed on November 4th. The date is the anniversary of Austria-Hungary’s surrender to Italy in 1918. Italians honor fallen soldiers by holding commemorative ceremonies throughout the country.
5. South Korea
June 6th is Memorial Day in South Korea. It honors civilians and servicemen who lost their lives in the war between North and South Korea in the 1950s. They hold a one-minute moment of silence at 10 AM.
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