Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day (also known as Poppy Day or Armistice Day) is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth countries since the end of World War I to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty.

This day or alternative dates, are also recognized as special days for war remembrances in many non-Commonwealth countries as well.
Remembrance Day is observed on the 11th November to recall the end of hostilities of World War I on that date in 1918. Hostilities formally ended “at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month” of 1918 with the German signing of the Armistice (“at the 11th hour” refers to the passing of the 11th hour, or 11:00 a.m.).

World War I officially ended with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919.

The Cayman Islands will once again join nations around the world in celebrating Remembrance Day. There will also be local ceremonies taken place on the Sunday closet to the Public Holiday which will be November 13th 2017 on Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac.
Significance will also be placed on the 11th hour.

Historically countries around the world have been keeping that hour for approximately 100 years. Wow!

World War I (WWI) was a global war centered in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918. It was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until the start of World War II in 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter.

It involved all the world’s great powers, which were assembled in two opposing alliances: the Allies (based on the Triple Entente of the United Kingdom, France and Russia) and the Central Powers which originally centered around the Triple Alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy; but, as Austria–Hungary had taken the offensive against the agreement, Italy did not enter into the war.

These alliances both reorganized and expanded as more nations entered the war.

Ultimately more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, were mobilized in one of the largest wars in history.
More than 9 million combatants were killed, largely because of enormous increases in lethality of weapons, thanks to new technology.
It was the sixth-deadliest conflict in world history, subsequently paving the way for various political changes such as revolutions in many of the nations involved.

My previous paragraphed outlined the history of World War I but did you also know that Remembrance Day was specifically dedicated by King George V on 7 November 1919 as a day of remembrance for members of the armed forces who were killed during World War I?

King George V (George Frederick Ernest Albert; 3 June 1865 – 20 January 1936) was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India, from 6 May 1910 through the First World War (1914–1918) until his death in 1936.

In the heart of George Town a plaque has been placed on the Clock Tower that states that it was erected by the people of the Cayman Islands in memory of their beloved King George V.

I believe these historical sites should be celebrated and considering the importance of the passing of the 11th hour-the clock tower is most appropriate.

There is also the Peace Memorial in George Town built in 1919 at the close of the First World War. See video

The red remembrance poppy has also become a familiar emblem of Remembrance Day due to the poem “In Flanders Fields”. These poppies bloomed across some of the worst battlefields of Flanders in World War I. Their brilliant red color was an appropriate symbol for the blood spilled in the war.
Although they can be obtained free-of-charge at various locations, the public is invited to give donations to support our local veterans. Wear your poppy with pride. I know I will!

However, on a serious note, even though we celebrate our veteran’s heroism, the ugly truth is many of them both locally and around the world have been exposed to traumatic events.

According to my most recent research- most of the times, PTSD (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder) develops shortly after exposure to the traumatic event. Sometimes, it may even be delayed months or even years later and may be triggered by something that is reminiscent of the original stressor. Wow!

Please note that not everyone who is exposed to a terrible event goes on to develop PTSD. It really depends on the individual and the nature of the event.

Some people, particularly those with preexisting emotional or personality problems, are naturally more susceptible to being scarred by traumatic events.

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder was born originally on the battlefield and was known by a number of names such as “shell Shock”, “combat fatigue”, or “war neurosis”.
However according to Allen Frances M.D. and Michael B. First M.D., horrifying experiences are by no means restricted to only warfare.

Community surveys that were done uncovered the fact that the majority of us have been exposed at some point in our lives to an event that involved actual or threatened death or serious injury. For example, car accidents, natural disasters, torture, concentration camps, rape, sexual or physical abuse and other crimes.

For more information and support regarding victims of crime visit:

National Center for Victims of Crime (NCVC)

It is always my pleasure to educate my readers in my articles about events both past and present around the world which affect the Cayman Islands.

Isn’t it interesting to witness how interwoven we are as a nation?

I believe it is always great to know our history and how the changes have affected us.

I also believe studying what happened in the past will not only help us to understand our history as a country, but will also facilitate a deeper understanding of where we are now and where we would like to be in the future.

So, as we collectively take this time world-wide to remember all the armed forces that died in the line of duty in World War I and honor our local veterans, let’s be cognizant of the distress many of them are still enduring.

May God continue to bless these Cayman Islands

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