Lawrence Binyon wrote the poem For the Fallen in 1914. The third and fourth verses speak to all who have been lost because of war:
They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.
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.
Many nations have a day or at least a ceremony set aside to commemorate those who fought and died for their county. It seems strange that the months December through February seem devoid of such holidays.
The following is a list of days throughout the world which are days of remembrance, what that particular day is called, and which country/countries observe it. I have not intentionally left out any country, but if you know of any not listed below, please contact me and I will add it as soon as possible.
March 29 Day of the Young Combatants Chile
April 9 Vimy Ridge Day Canada
14th of Nisan (April 19) Yom Hashoah Israel
April 24 Genocide Remembrance Day Armenia, and US states of North Dakota and Hawaii
April 25 ANZAC Day Tonga, Samoa, Niue, Cooks Island, Australia, New Zealand
4th of Iyar (between the last week of April and the first week of May) Yom Hazikaron - Israel
May 4 Remembrance of the Dead Netherlands
May 6 Martyrs Day Lebanon, Syria
May 8 Time of Remembrance and Reconciliation for Those who Lost Their Lives During the Second World War United Nations General Assembly
May 8 Victory in Europe Day US, United Kingdom
May 8 Day of Liberation former East Germany, Czech Republic
May 8 Victory over Fascism Day Slovakia
May 9 Soviet Victory Day Russia and some former Soviet Republics
May 15 Peace Officers Memorial Day US
Third Sunday in May Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Political Repressions Ukraine
Last Monday in May Memorial Day US
June 27 Armed Forces Day United Kingdom
June 27 International Holocaust Remembrance Day United Nations General Assembly
Sunday preceding July 1 Memorial Day Newfoundland, Labrador
July 11 National Day of Commemoration Republic of Ireland
August 6 Peace Declaration Day (the world) observed by an annual speech made by the Mayor of Hiroshima
August 15 Remembrance Day Australia
Second Monday in August Victory Day US
September 3 Victory over Japan Day China
September 3 Liberation Day - Korea
First Sunday in September Airbourne March Netherlands
September 12 Regimental Battle Honors Day Sikhs around the world
October 30 Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Political Repressions former Soviet Republics except Ukraine
November 11 Armistice Day former Allied countries of WWII
November 11 Remembrance Day Commonwealth Nations
November 11 Veterans Day US
Second Sunday in November Remembrance Sunday United Kingdom
November 27 Maaveerar Day Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam
Politics aside, the honor of dying in battle is not one we would choose for those we love. But war has always been a companion of our civilizations. Like a dark shadow on a bright day, we see what must be done to protect our homes, our families, and the way we live. We are where we are because of those who went to war and did not return home.
Lawrence Binyon promised it, and so do I, We will remember them.