Situated in Beyers Naude Square (named after a cleric and leading anti-Apartheid activist) between the Johannesburg Public Library and the City Hall, the Cenotaph was first inaugurated as a war memorial in 1926 to South Africans who joined the Allied Forces and lost their lives in World War I. The structure is a replica of the Edwin Luytens-designed monument in Whitehall, London. Inscriptions were later added in 1947 to honour those who fell in World War II. Countries associated with the British Commonwealth annually commemorate Armistice Day, now commonly known as Remembrance Day, to pay tribute to all soldiers and civilians who have died in military conflict. In 1996 the City of Johannesburg rededicated the monument to the memory of those who died in the struggle against Apartheid and for the liberation of South Africa, and since then the site has been used to commemorate a number of important historical players, previously left out of South Africa’s history.


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