Johannesburg Executive Mayor Mpho Parks Tau will on Sunday, 09 November 2014, lead a wreath-laying ceremony in central Joburg to commemorate all South Africans who perished during World War I.
This year’s commemoration marks the 100th anniversary of the start of the four-year war, which claimed the lives of 12 452 South African soldiers.
The event is commemorated annually as National Civic Remembrance Sunday, during which a church service is held to pay tribute to all South Africans who fell during the war.
The National Remembrance Service honours all South Africans who made the supreme sacrifice for their country in all wars and conflicts, including the struggle for democracy.
This year’s commemoration service will, as always, take place at the Cenotaph in Harrison Street. The ceremony will start with a march past the Cenotaph at 14h30. An inter-faith religious service will be led by the Rev Dr Mongezi Guma, Special Adviser to the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula.
Senior officers of the South African National Defence Force will accompany Mayor Tau in laying the wreaths. The event will be attended by, among others, diplomats, dignitaries, military veterans and members of youth groups.
The commemoration is the largest of its kind in South Africa and links with other Remembrance Day events held in many cities around the world. Each year a theme is chosen for the National Remembrance Sunday Service. This year’s theme is: “Unification and Nation-Building.”
In total, 245 419 South Africans volunteered for military service in the war that lasted four years – from 1914 to 1918.
All those who perished during the war lie buried in Commonwealth War Graves throughout Africa, the Middle East and Europe.