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domingo, 7 de agosto de 2011

11th November is Veterans Day

The English Prime Minister David Cameron (on the left) and former Prime Ministers: Gordon Brown (on the right), Tony Blair and John Major (second row)

A veteran is a soldier who has fought in a war. Veterans Day commemorates the anniversary of the signing of the armistice that put an end to World War I, which started in 1914 and ended in 1918, causing 37 million casualties, among them more than ten thousand Portuguese soldiers. The war ended exactly at 11 o’clock, on the 11th day in the 11th month (November) of 1918.
Some of the battles of World War I took place in Flanders, which was located in the Western Front. There, many poppy fields existed. John Mccrae (1872-1918), who was fighting in the war, wrote a poem to honour his deceased comrade in arms. It begins like this:” In Flanders fields the poppies blow, between the crosses row on row…” Soon after its publication the poem became very popular. Nowadays, in the UK, it is a tradition to wear a poppy on this day.
The London Cenotaph, built in 1920, has become the focus of Remembrance Day (the name it is known in UK) and many wreaths have ever since been laid there. In the USA wearing a poppy is not traditional. Still, Veterans Day is an important holiday and many marches take place in order to honour the dead of all wars, including World War II (1939-45); the Korean War (1950-53), the Vietnam War (1965-1975), the First Gulf War (1991), the Iraq War (2003-2010) and the war in Afghanistan, starting in 2001 till the present.

Ano lectivo 2010/2011

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