How Remembrance Day Is Observed in Some Other Cultures

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.

In response to this past week’s NFL observances of Veterans Day, including camouflage-themed clothing for coaches and sideline staff, a reader sends a comparative note on how pro sports teams elsewhere recognize this occasion:

You mentioned lapel poppies in the UK the other day. Worth noting that how the UK observes Remembrance Day is very different even at sporting events. Here is some fan-shot video from the proceedings at Arsenal's Emirates Stadium in North London this past Saturday:

He adds:

In addition, every player had a poppy embroidered on their jersey. I find this way of marking the occasion far more meaningful than the overly jingoistic version that seems to predominate on our shores.

Veterans Day respects and gratitude to those who have sacrificed and served.


To spare effort by those getting ready to write in and explain this distinction: I do realize that the connotations of Remembrance Day, in England and elsewhere, are different from those of Veterans Day on the same November 11 date in the United States. Originally all these observances were Armistice Day, recognizing the end of World War I hostilities on the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” in 1918. As another world war began, the name was generally shifted to Remembrance Day, which in England serves the purpose Memorial Day does in the United States: that of recognizing those who died in the line of duty. (For more on the Civil War origins of American Memorial Day, see Deb Fallows’s item from Mississippi.) In the United States, Veterans Day is for those who have performed military service, living and dead.