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November 11, 2008
World salutes 90th anniversary of World War I

A Polish soldier salutes at an Independence Day ceremony.

It may go by many names — Veterans Day, Remembrance Day, Poppy Day, Armistice Day and even Independence Day in some countries — but every November, nations around the world commemorate those who have served in the the military and particularly in World War I (WWI).

This year marks the 90th anniversary of the end of WWI.

The conflict — fueled by the assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand, the heir to the Austrian-Hungarian throne —  pitted Germany and Austria-Hungary against the Allied Powers (the United Kingdom, France, Belgium and several others), branching out from Europe and impacting the globe.

After the Allied victory, world leaders met in Versailles to negotiate peace. As a result, Germany disarmed and lost much of its prewar territory.

Poland regained its independence as a result of the Treaty of Versailles. Blogger “Annalise” describes the festivities at Polish Independence Day on Nov. 11.

Experiences of an English Soldier” is a blog by an English soldier in WWI, whose grandson now posts his diary entries in real time.

An Irish blogger at “For the Fainthearted” tells the story of Percy Horner, one of the Irishmen who fought in WWI voluntarily.

Blogger “Kristie” wonders if Remembrance Day should be a national holiday in Canada. At the time of WWI, Canada was still under the British Empire.

Australia was also part of the British Empire during the war, but Australian and Kiwi soldiers in WWI made a name for themselves and brought great national pride. Today, Australia celebrates Australian and New Zealand Army Corps Day (ANZAC) on April 25.

Blogger “Karena” writes from France about Armistice Day’s celebration of les poilus, as French soldiers in WWI were called.

Germany holds a national day of mourning, the Volkstrauertag, later in the month, but today marks the beginning of the German carnival season.

Photo courtesy of włodi under a Creative Commons license.

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