Tuesday, November 11, 2014

November - a month for memories.

Remembrance Day
The poppy is a popular emblem worn on November 11th.
November 11th is a day of remembrance in many countries. For me, the whole month of November is one of both historical significance and personal remembering.

November 11th, 1918 - and the end of World War I

World War I ended on November 11th, 1918.  On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, an armistice was signed.  This day was originally referred to by the USA, Canada and Great Britain as Armistice Day.

November 11th - and Canada

When I was growing up in Canada, November 11th was always more commonly referred to as Remembrance Day. Felt or plastic poppies were handed out, and on November 11th we all wore them pinned to our clothing.  I remember school assemblies and moments of silence. We worked on our penmanship by writing out the words to the poem "In Flanders Fields," written by John McCrae in 1915.

I can remember being required to write and memorize the poem “In Flanders Fields”

November 11th - and England

The year that my family moved to Europe, I was in London, England on November 11th. It was the same week that Princess Anne was getting married, so my memories of public wedding festivities and Remembrance Day ceremonies are a little muddled. Armistice Day is also known as Remembrance Day or Poppy Day in Great Britain.  Many citizens wear poppies, and hold a moment or two of silence at 11 am. The main ceremony of remembrance though, occurs on the Sunday closest to November 11th, known as Remembrance Sunday.

November  - and Spain

Generalissimo Francisco Franco, a Spanish Dictator for nearly 40 years, died on November 20th,1975 in Madrid. It was a pivotal time for Spain, and an interesting but somewhat frightening time to be living there.
This is a photo of the newspaper I saved from the week Francisco Franco died.

November 11 - and the USA

In the United States, the official name of Armistice Day was changed in 1954 to Veterans Day, and it became a day to honor all military personnel who have served our country.  To me, this is tragic.  Of course I fully support remembering and honoring all of our veterans and everyone who has served our country. What bothers me is that there have been more wars after the “War to End All Wars.” The name of Armistice Day was changed because of the lack of peace our world has suffered since 1918. If only that war really had ended all wars.

November - and my family

November is a month of birthdays for my family.  Time to reflect on many memories and celebrate the future.
Happy Birthday to our family members and all those born in November!

November - and my future

November is the month when I became a writer... it is a milestone I like to celebrate!

November 11 - and we have snow on the ground.

Yesterday afternoon it was 45 degrees F. (7.2 Celsius) here; 24 hours later it was 10 degrees F. (-12 Celsius) and snowy.  Remembering that winter has come much earlier most other years has helped to make today's weather a little more bearable! Speaking of temperatures changing quickly, the tragic Midwestern US Armistice Day Blizzard of 1940 showed just how sudden and severe a storm can be.

The view out my front window today.
Perhaps the month of November should really be called Novembrance.

What is your earliest November memory?

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  1. I didn't realize the global scope of the significance of this day and this month.
    We have a very special family member with a November birthday too. Enjoy your celebrations.

  2. Except for the writing one, I share all of your memories, Susan, but never consciously realized they were all part of the same month! (Come to think of it, November really is also one of the busiest birthday/anniversary months for both sides of my family!) Thanks for helping me to remember on this Remembrance Day!

  3. Wonderful history lesson, I enjoyed it - did you see the ceramic poppies in London - set up by volunteers - spectacular. - we celebrate a few birthdays in our family too - have a wonderful November - :)

    1. Glad that you liked this Marisa. Unfortunately, I don't believe they were doing the ceramic poppies in London when I visited. But what a cool thing that would be to see!

  4. I used to sing Flander's Fields in choir for our Veteran's Day assembly every year! Ahh, the memories....


    1. I didn't realize it was set to music! Now I will have to google it! Thanks for the comment, Kelly!

  5. Great information Susan. It's interesting that Canada and the U.S. celebrate this holiday together. I have to admit, the snow looks like fun. It's sunny, cold and very windy here today!

  6. With temperatures at a high of just above zero today Lana - the best part about the snow was staying inside!

  7. Awesome memories. If not for my husband's birthday and Thanksgiving, November would blow right by me. December, on the other hand, is full of commemorative moments! Glad I found you on SITS.

    1. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment, Anitra - I'm glad I found your blog too!

  8. Remembrance Day is celebrated in Australia too.
    November was my father's birth month, and is also the month he died.
    And, on this side of the world it is getting HOT. We will be pushing 100 tomorrow. Shudder. I would happily swap with you.

    1. Do you wear poppies on the 11th? My sympathies about the death of your father.
      I wonder if we can work something out ... Sounds like we both will be having extreme temperatures tomorrow!

  9. I do remember making construction paper poppies and taping them to the inside of the school windows.

  10. I find myself looking over at Montana when they tell the weather! Unbelievably cold and snowy! It seems so early but maybe not. Last night at 8 o'clock it was 78 degrees here but supposed to cooler today. No snow of course I've only seen it snow twice in the three years that I've been here! Only once did it stick and the whole state shut down for a week hilarious to see!

    1. Our winter is actually late this year - we were treated to a gorgeous fall. But, temperatures dropped drastically, and are colder than normal for November. January is when it really hits the deepfreeze - down into the minus 30's (or even lower) sometimes.


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