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International memories

International memories

Picture by: ‘1hr Photo’ (Flickr Creative Commons).

Remembering historical events of national importance is an essential part of creating awareness about the past. In doing so, national identities are maintained and new generations are informed about the lessons of their own history.

Logically, every country makes its own choices in remembering historical milestones. This is reflected in divergent modes of national remembrance. As we all know, The Netherlands remembers its deaths at 4th May and celebrates liberty at 5th May. Remembered are all soldiers and civilians that have been killed since the start of World War II in The Netherlands, at 10th May 1940. Since The Netherlands was neutral in World War I, this war is hardly part of official memorial events. In contrast, national remembrances in many other countries focus on the end of World War I, generally with minutes of silence at 11th November.

The Belgium National Remembrance Committee provided an informative list of national “Memorial Days”, which is worthwhile to consider in order to make an international comparison of remembrance practices.

–          25th April: ANZAC Day.
* ANZAC: Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (fought during WWI in ‘Gallipoli’, Turkey).
–          11th November: Remembrance Day.
–          8th May: End of World War II.
–          11th November: Armistice Day.
–          20th May: Victoria Day.
–          11th November: Veteran’s Day.
–          5th May: Day of Liberation.
–          8th May: Remembering the victims of World War II.
–          14th June: Day of Mourning and Commemoration.
–          8th May: End of World War II.
–          25th August: Liberation of Paris
–          11th November: Armistice Day.
–          27th January: Remembering the victims of the National Socialism.
–          20th July: Commemoration of the Resistance.
–          Second Sunday before the 1st Sunday in Advent: Day of public mourning.
–          11th November: Remembrance Day.
–          First Sunday of November: Remembering killed servicemen.
–          9th November: National Memorial Day.
–          4th May: Remembrance of the death.
–          5th May: Liberation Day
–          Last Saturday in June: Netherlands Veterans Day.
–          15th August: Netherlands Indies Memorial.
–          Friday before ANZAC Day: Poppey Day.
–          25th April: ANZAC Day
–          11th November: Armistice Day.
–          8th May: Liberation Day.
–          11th November: Independence Day.
–          Sunday after 11th November: Memorial ceremony.
United States of America:
–          Last Monday in May: Memorial Day.
–          11th November: Veteran’s Day.
–          7th December: National Pearl Harbour Remembrance Day.