On November 11, 1918 at 11:00 am, a ceasefire agreement was signed ending World War I.
We call this Veterans’ Day in the US, but the day is also, celebrated as Armistice Day in some countries. In Australia, it’s called Remembrance Day.
Ten years ago, I had the opportunity to be in Melbourne, Australia on Remembrance Day, where there is an annual celebration each year at the Shrine of Remembrance. The Shrine is built so that at exactly 11am on November 11th a natural ray of sunlight shines on the Stone of Remembrance and illuminates the word “love.”
We were part of a large crowd of people who queued up to enter the Shrine as close to 11am as possible to see this phenomenon and participate in the annual ceremony honoring those Australians who were killed in various military conflicts, both before and after 1918. It was a powerful, solemn experience.
Here, banks and post offices are closed on Veterans Day. There are a few parades and tributes to those who served in the armed forces, and, of course, we have special Veterans Day sales.
At a time when we see so much conflict–both across the world and at home–it’s worth taking time out of our daily lives to remember the sacrifice of the men and women who died for their country so that we can enjoy our freedom and way of life.
Perhaps we can find a way to carry this ray of light with us throughout the year to come.
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