Centenary of World War I Armistice
Several countries around the world have authorized the use of special call signs or prefixes to mark the centenary of the armistice that marked the end of hostilities on the Western Front of World War I. The initial armistice took effect on November 11, 1918, at 11 AM (the Treaty of Versailles that officially ended World War I was not signed until the following year). Formerly known as Armistice Day in the US and in other countries, November 11 later became recognized as Veterans Day in the US, and as Remembrance Day in others, as a day to honor veterans of the armed services from all wars and conflicts.
While not a special prefix, WW1USA — the call sign of the National World War I Museum Amateur Radio Club — was on the air from the National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, Missouri, over the November 3 – 4 weekend. Other allied countries that took part in World War I will host special event Amateur Radio stations or call signs to commemorate the centenary of the Armistice.
In the UK, special event station GB100ARM will be on the air until November 28, operated by the HMS Belfast Radio Group. Operation will take place from the bridge wireless office aboard HMS Belfast.
The Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA) has secured special event call signs for use across all Australian states and territories to commemorate the signing of the Armistice. These will take the form VI#PEACE and VI#LWF, depending upon Australian call district — 1 through 0. Listen, too, for VI100PEACE and VI9PEACE from Christmas Island. These call signs will be available for use between November 3 and November 11.
In Belgium, radio amateurs may use the OP prefix instead of ON during November as part of the 100th anniversary. The “P” stands for “poppies.” The association between poppies and Armistice Day (and, later, Veterans Day and Remembrance Day) was inspired by the World War I poem “In Flanders Fields” by John McCrae, which refers to poppies as the first flowers to grow in the earth above soldiers’ graves in the Flanders region of Belgium. Veterans groups in some countries hand out paper poppies in conjunction with Veterans Day/Remembrance Day observances.
Additional stations include France’s TM5PAX, which is active on all bands and modes through November 11, and South Africa’s ZS100WWI, which is on the air for the entire month of November.
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