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What is Armistice Day? – A Guide for Kids

Updated: Aug 21, 2023

We’ve had a question from a reader, who would like to know:

I’ve heard about Armistice Day but I’m not quite sure what it is, can you help?

Here’s our answer below. Remember, if you have a question about history that you need an answer to, be sure to send it our way at Who knows, we may very well turn our answer into a blog just like this one.

What is Armistice Day?

Armistice Day in the city of Philadelphia. Library Company of Philadelphia

Armistice Day has been commemorated every year since the 11th of November, 1918. This date has become so very important in our yearly calendar as it marks the end of the chaos and destruction that was World War 1. The peace agreement was signed by German, French and British representatives at 5am on November 11th but it didn’t take effect until 11am. That’s why every year, on the 11th of November at 11am we have a minute’s silence so we can contemplate the war and the 15 million people who tragically lost their lives because of it.

Henry Gunther - The final casualty of WW1. Courtesy Concord

Shockingly, during those six hours between the signing of the peace agreement and its instructions being carried out, fighting was still taking place.

Yes, that’s even though the combatants knew the war would soon be over. Many American commanders refused to end their attack, because of this decision, 3000 soldiers lost their lives during those final six hours. Henry Gunther was the last casualty of WW1. An American soldier, Gunther was killed in the final minute before Armistice when he was killed at 10:59am charging a German machine gun nest.

Armistice Day has many different names as it is remembered by countries from all over the world. Some may call it Remembrance Day, others Veteran’s Day, but the intention is the same, to mark the end of conflict in The Great War and to remember all those who died.


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