Remembrance Day is one of the most important days on our commemorative calendar. It's a day when we acknowledge those who died while serving in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations. Remembrance Day is held on 11 November each year. This is the anniversary of the Armistice that ended fighting with Germany in World War I. People in Australia, and many other countries, observe 1 minute's silence at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month because that's when the Armistice came into effect. It's a time to honour our service personnel who died in service of Australia.
Planning for the day
To help you commemorate on the day, we have a handy pack of printable resources – the Remembrance Day Kitbag.
The pack includes information to hold a commemorative service, activities for children, and ideas for commemoration at home.
While we encourage commemorative activities, please check that what you’re doing is safe and in line with government health advice and restrictions.
Other ways to get involved
On Remembrance Day, you can pause with other Australians at 11 am to remember the service and sacrifice of those who have lost their lives in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations.
To commemorate our fallen, you may wish to:
- think about who you'll remember
- show your support by wearing a red poppy
- watch the Australian War Memorial's live-streamed National Commemorative Service
- make a personal commemoration.
Each year, we produce posters to commemorate Remembrance Day. Hard copies are available to schools, community groups and ex-service organisations around Australia. Electronic copies are available to print. See our latest poster.
State and territory commemorative services are usually held in each capital city. Many communities, councils and schools across Australia host local events too.
If you can't attend an event on Remembrance Day, please pause at 11 am, wherever you are, to remember.
Who you'll remember
In the lead-up to Remembrance Day, take a moment to reflect on who you’ll be thinking about during the minute's silence. You can share your reflections on social media using the hashtags #RemembranceDay2021 #LestWeForget.
Many Australians have an ancestor or relative who has served in a war, conflict or peacekeeping operations. It's often this personal connection that they remember.
If you don't have a personal connection, you can pause in silent reflection at what war has cost Australia and the world.
Script for a public announcement
You might like to announce the minute's silence over a public address (PA) system. Here's a sample script to adapt for an office, school, aged care facility and another local community setting.
Start the announcement at about 10:58 am so the period of silence falls at 11 am.
Good morning ________.
May I please have your attention?
Today is Remembrance Day, a day of national commemoration. On this day at 11 am, Australians pause in silence for a minute to remember the bravery and sacrifice of the men and women who lost their lives while serving Australia and its allies in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations.
It is now time to reflect and to silently remember all those who have served and died in war. Please stand for the Ode, which will be followed by The Last Post, 1 minute of silence and The Rouse.
They shall grow not old as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
Repeat after me: Lest we forget.
[Leave a moment for listeners to repeat: ‘Lest we forget’.]
[Play The Last Post; 1 minute 30 seconds]
[Pause for 1 minute of silence.]
[Play The Rouse.]
[Optional] Thank you for your attention.
Download the music for Remembrance Day.
Engagements involving Australians
Since World War I, Australians have been called on many times to serve in wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping and humanitarian operations.
Almost 2 million men and women have worn with pride the uniforms of the Royal Australian Navy, Australian Army and Royal Australian Air Force.
Tragically, over 103,000 names are listed on the Roll of Honour at the Australian War Memorial. Those listed were members of the Australian armed forces who died during or shortly afterwards (as a result of war service):
- World War I
- World War II
- post-1945 conflicts, warlike service, non-warlike service and certain peacetime operations
Remembrance Day is a time for Australians to unite in solemn respect and remembrance for all those who served and died.
History of Remembrance Day
Remembrance Day was originally called 'Armistice Day', and 2 minutes of silence was observed for the first time at 11 am on 11 November 1919 to remember those who had died.
Prime Minister Billy Hughes said at the time:
Of their deeds it is not necessary for me to speak. Of their valour, endurance and resource at Gallipoli, Pozieres, Baupaume and other famous fields, men still speak with awe.
Hughes put our soldiers' sacrifice into perspective when he added:
Our heritage, our free institutions of government - all that we hold dear - are handed back into our keeping, stained with the blood of sacrifice. Surely not only we, their fellow citizens, but Australians throughout the ages, will treasure forever the memories of those glorious men to whom the Commonwealth owes so much, and will guard with resolute determination the privileges for which they fought and suffered.
After World War II, the Australian Government agreed to the United Kingdom's proposal to rename Armistice Day to 'Remembrance Day', to commemorate and remember those who were killed in both World Wars. Today, we remember the loss of Australian lives from all wars and conflicts.
In 1918, Australia made a promise never to forget the service and sacrifice of 416,000 Australians who enlisted and over 60,000 who died. For over 100 years, we have kept this promise. We remember them still.