Remembering Veterans on Instagram

For more photos and videos from ceremonies around the world, visit the #veteransday and #remembranceday hashtags.

In many countries, November 11 is set aside as a day for remembering and honoring those who have dedicated their lives to military service for their country. The date stems from the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918—the end of World War I.

In the United States, November 11th marks Veterans Day, a federal holiday. Declared as an observance by President Woodrow Wilson at the end of in 1919, it was officially expanded in 1954 to honor all servicemembers. Ceremonies take place across the country, and President Obama led the ceremony at Arlington National Ceremony honoring all veterans, including the oldest known surviving veteran of WWII.

In the UK and other Commonwealth countries, the day is known as Remembrance Day. Every year, thousands of Britons wear red lapel poppies as a symbol of remembrance of the fallen, and to raise money for the families of servicemen. The poppies, immortalized in John McCrae’s poem, “In Flanders Fields,” stand as a symbol for the poppy fields that grew out of the Belgian battlefields where many soldiers fell. Wreathes of poppies are also lain at the foot of The Cenotaph war memorial in Whitehall, London, as well as at ceremonies throughout other countries. A two-minute silence is observed on both Remembrance Sunday and November 11th at 11am.