(CNN) -- Nations honored their veterans Wednesday, marking the 91st anniversary of the end of World War I, originally billed as the "war to end all wars."
The day marks the armistice signed between Germany and the Allies of the war on November 11, 1918.
Depending on where it is celebrated, the day is alternatively known as Armistice Day, Remembrance Day, Poppy Day or Veterans Day.
Australians observed one minute silence at 11 a.m., in memory of those who died or suffered in all of the nation's wars and armed conflicts.
"Their loss is a reminder that there is nothing glorious about war. Those called upon to fight know that better than anyone," Gen. Peter Cosgrove, chairman of the Council of the Australian War Memorial, said Wednesday. "But they also know that, when all else fails, it is necessary to fight against the tyrannies that threaten liberty. That cause transcends the ages, and it is a noble one."
In Britain, ceremonies will be televised from London's Westminster Abbey. The nation will observe two minutes of silence.
This year, Germany and France will mark the day with a ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.
In Washington, President Barack Obama will mark Veterans Day by taking part in a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, just outside Washington.
U.S. military forces, especially those in Iraq and Afghanistan, also were to observe Veterans Day, keenly aware of the costs war.