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South African Embassy Organise Commonwealth Remembrance Day in Berlin

Ceremony to remember the victims of war held by the Embassy of the Republic of South Africa

November 11th, 2016
Alicia Hoor, News from Berlin

Remembrance Day has been celebrated in the United Kingdom and in most of the countries of the Commonwealth on the second Sunday in November each year since the end of the First World War. The celebration follows a tradition inaugurated by King George V in 1919 and is this year being marked by the Embassy of South Africa in Berlin.

The day is marked by war remembrance ceremonies in a lot of other, non-Commonwealth countries. It is also called the Poppy Day, after the red remembrance poppy that is worn traditionally. It is red to symbolise the loss of a whole generation.

This year, Remembrance Day will be observed on 11th November to recall the end of hostilities of World War I. These hostilities formally and officially ended "at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month". This year, the Embassy of the Republic of South Africa is organizing the Commonwealth Remembrance Day in Berlin, Germany. It is in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Berlin Cemetery where more than 3,594 servicemen from Great Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, Poland and South Africa found peace, most of whom died during World War II (1939-1945).

Remembering and honoring those that served and that have lost their lives in the line of duty has a long tradition in South Africa. Those remembrance acts are taken very seriously and are equally important for men and women in uniform as they are for the South African people in general. The Embassy of the Republic of South Africa therefore takes great pride in the fact that they get to organize this Commonwealth Act of Remembrance outside the South African borders, in Berlin, and thereby remember those that gave their lives so that we may nowadays live together in peace. The ceremony will be attended by representatives of other Commonwealth countries, German governmental officials, military associations and members of the public.

The Remembrance Act will be followed by a Remembrance Sunday Ecumenical Service at St George’s Anglican Church, beginning at 11:00am. A small reception after the service will be hosted by the South African Embassy at the church and will conclude the commemoration.

Members of the public are cordially invited to attend the Remembrance Act as well as the ecumenical church service followed by the reception.


News from Berlin