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VE Day Commemoration

A commemoration service is held on the 8th of May each year to mark VE Day, at which veterans and their wives are encouraged to take part. The President of the Government, the President of the House of Representatives, members of the Government, Ambassadors of the countries represented in Cyprus, Leaders of Political Parties, Defence Attaches of Embassies and Presidents of major organizations are invited to be present.

The programme includes a memorial service, observance of one-minute silence, a documentary about the second world war, a brief address by a number of officials and a cultural programme followed by an official reception.


11th November, Remembrance Day Service

A Remembrance Day Service takes place on the 11th of November each year in front of the War Memorial in Nicosia. Invited to take part in this event are the President of the Republic, the President of the House of Representatives, the leaders of political parties, members of the Government, Ambassadors of the Countries represented in Cyprus and other officials. They will all come to lay their wreaths and to stand in silence to honour the dead of the two World Wars.

The Remembrance – Poppy Campaign

Each year, during the week of November 11th, the Cyprus Veterans' Association W.W.II conducts the Remembrance – Poppy Campaign. The poppies used during the campaign are supplied free of charge by the Royal Commonwealth Ex-Services League. The Remembrance – Poppy Campaign is intended to remind the people of Cyprus of the debt they owe those who died during the two world wars. Donations received during the campaign are placed in Bank Accounts of the Branch Offices and used throughout the year to assist needy veterans, and their families. In the case of school children, poppies are distributed solely to perpetuate the tradition of remembrance among the public.


Why was the poppy chosen as the symbol of remembrance for the war dead? The poppy, an international symbol for those who died in war, also had international origins.

A writer first made the connection between the poppy and battlefield deaths during the Napoleonic wars of the early 19 th century, remarking that fields that were barren before battle, exploded with the blood-red flowers after the fighting ended.

Prior to the first World War few poppies grew in Flanders. During the tremendous bombardments of the war, the chalk soils became rich in lime from rubble, allowing the poppies to thrive. When the war ended the lime was quickly absorbed and the poppy began to disappear again.

Lt. Col. John McCrae, a Canadian doctor who wrote the poem IN FLANDERS FIELDS, made the same connection 100 years later and the Scarlet poppy quickly became the symbol for soldiers who died in battle.

Three years later, an American lady Moina Michael was working in a New York City YMCA canteen when she started wearing a poppy in memory of the millions who died on the battlefield. During a 1920 visit to the United States a French woman, Madame Guerin, learned of the custom. On her return to France she decided to use handmade poppies to raise money for destitute children in war – torn areas of the country. The idea gradually grew and was adopted internationally in memory of the war dead who gave their life for freedom and democracy.

Today, hundreds of war invalids are occupied in making more than 600 million poppies and wreaths each year for the graves of those who were sacrificed in the battlefields. With the money which are collected from the sale of poppies are helped thousands of veterans in need.

Lieut. Col. John McCrae went into the line at Ypres on April 22, 1915. He came out of Ypres with 13 lines scrawled on a scrap of paper which were a poem with the title “IN FLANDERS FIELDS”

In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row.
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below. 

We are the Dead, Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow.
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders field. 

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, tho poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

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