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A few short words as we respectfully remember those brave men and women who served in various wars.
World War I ended officially at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918 and November 11th was set aside in the United Kingdom, United States and France as a Day of Remembrance for those who had given their lives in the war. It was known as Armistice Day.
It was from this date, November 11, 1918 that the Government of The Bahamas made the decision to commemorate Remembrance Day on the nearest Sunday to that date hence, the selection of the second Sunday. World War II ended in 1945. During both wars, The Bahamas was under the rule of Great Britain and hence, men and women enlisted to serve in various capacities. Their names appear on a plaque at the base of the Cenotaph, the monument erected in their honour.
A number of The Bahamas war veterans are members of the Bahamas Chapter of the British Legion, formerly known as The Bahamas Ex-Servicemen Association, formed after World War II.
Also associated with Remembrance Day is the wearing of the Poppy – a beautiful red flower said to be one of the few things, which survived in the battlefields of Northern France during World War I. The flower also represented the bloodshed of all those who died during that war.
Another significant aspect of the Remembrance Day Service is the Last Post and Reveille – the sounding of the final bugle call of the day, signalling the end of the soldier’s day, which can be traced back to when the British Army was on campaign in the Netherlands.
The Royal Bahamas Defence Force Band still continues this practice, which has become a staple at all State and Military Funerals. It symbolises the “end of the soldier’s day” in so far as the dead soldier has finished his duty and can rest in peace.