Observing Remembrance Day
Remembrance Day, also known as Poppy Day, is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth countries to remember the members of armed forces who died in the line of duty. Remembrance Day is observed on November 11 to recall the end of hostilities of World War I on that date in 1918.
Hostilities formally ended “at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month,” in accordance with the Armistice, signed by representatives of Germany and the Entente between 5:12 and 5:20 that morning. “At the 11th hour” refers to the passing of the 11th hour, or 11 a.m. World War I officially ended with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919.
The day was specifically dedicated by King George V on November 7, 1919 as a day of remembrance for members of the armed forces who were killed during World War I. The red remembrance poppy has become a familiar emblem of Remembrance Day due to the poem In Flanders Fields. These poppies bloomed across some of the worst battlefields of Flanders in World War I, their brilliant red colour an appropriate symbol for the blood spilled in the war.
In Barbados, Remembrance Day is recognised on November 11, but the parade and ceremonial events are carried out on Remembrance Sunday, the second Sunday in November. The Remembrance Day Parade and Service recognises the Barbadian soldiers who died fighting in the First and Second World Wars. The Parade, involving military and para-military organisations and the Service are held in National Heroes’ Square.
Governor-General of Barbados, Sir Elliott Fitzroy Belgrave, GCMG, KA, CHB, QC and Barbadian Prime Minister, Freundel Jerome Stuart QC MP will be among those who attend, along with other government dignitaries, heads of the police and military forces.
During the main ceremony a gun salute, wreaths, and prayers are also performed at the war memorial Cenotaph at the heart of National Heroes Square in Bridgetown.