Armistice Day

November 11th, 2008

I find it a little frustrating that when I ask my students what is important about November 11 they all, without fail, reply either “Singles Day” or “光棍节”. I mean, it was not particularly difficult for me to show them the direct importance of what happened at 11am on November 11 1918 to China. Chinese soldiers were active on the Western Front, for starters, and it’s not much of a stretch from there to May 4…

But this article raises two points I had forgotten:

  1. Today is the 90th anniversary of the armistice.
  2. New Zealand’s contribution went way beyond the call of Imperial duty: “New Zealand sent around 100,000 men and women abroad from a population of 1.1 million at the time.Around 18,000 died and over 40,000 were wounded – a higher per capita casualty rate than any other country involved.”


2 Responses to “Armistice Day”

  1. michael Says:

    Does anyone outside the UK know what it is? Even here in Australia the kids only know about ANZAC day, not 11th November…

  2. wangbo Says:

    It’s known as Veterans Day in America, I believe. But yes, I think it is largely overshadowed by ANZAC Day in New Zealand, too, which in one way is a little unfortunate, but then again I think Gallipolli does have far greater significance to our two countries. Still, although it is not a public holiday, Armistice Day is officially observed in New Zealand.