It was interesting (and a bit sad!) to me this last week as I talked with numerous classes about the upcoming Remembrance Day this Friday (November 11th), that many students confused Remembrance Day with ANZAC Day. It then occurred to me – if students get confused, how many teachers truly understand the difference? We all know that both days are special days of reverence and importance – but do YOU know the difference? After I’d explained it to multiple classes, I had one teacher tell me that they were previously confused too. Here’s a quick explanation to help clarify any misconceptions for you and your students….
ANZAC Day – Celebrated on April 25th, it is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand that commemorates all Australians and New Zealanders who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations (including those currently serving).
Remembrance Day – is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth Nations to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty. Originally called Armistice Day to commemorate when the armistice (truce) was signed at the end of World War 1 in 1918 “at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month”, it was renamed Remembrance Day after World War 2 to acknowledge those who lost their lives in all wars, not just World War 1. It is not a public holiday in Australia and is often overshadowed by ANZAC Day.
In the United States, Veterans Day is observed on 11 November, and is both a federal holiday and a state holiday in all states.
Other countries around the world celebrate their special day of memory at various times throughout the year, not necessarily on November 11th.
I have created a few free resources to compliment your studies of Remembrance Day. I hope you and your students find them useful.