The date was a national holiday in many of the former allied nations to allow people to commemorate those members of the armed forces who were killed during war. This day in Poland is national day (also a public holiday) called Polish Independence Day. After World War II, it was changed to Veterans Day in the United States and to Remembrance Day in the British Commonwealth of Nations. Armistice Day is an official holiday in France. It is also an official holiday in Belgium, known also as the day of peace in the Flanders Fields.
In many parts of the world people take a two minute moment of silence at 11:00 a.m. as a sign of respect for the roughly eight million who died in the war, as suggested by Edward George Honey in a letter to a British newspaper although Wellesley Tudor Pole established two ceremonial periods of remembrance based on events in 1917. In Germany however, it coincides with the official beginning of the carnival season.
Beginning in 1939 the two-minute silence was moved to the Sunday nearest 11 November in order not to interfere with wartime production should 11 November fall on a weekday. Since the 1990s a growing number of people have observed a two-minute silence on 11 November, resulting in both Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday being commemorated formally in the UK (although in 2007 they fell on the same day).