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Remembrance Day 11/11

Five minutes to 11 this morning we shut the office and joined hundreds of other people in front of the Town Hall for the 2 minutes silence.
All town centre roads were stopped by the police and a sombre calmness fell around an area normally bustling with activity.
A rocket was fired at 11 o'clock and the loud boom was the last noise to be heard apart from the wind through the oak trees and the playing of the last post on a sole bugle.
A truly emotional and thought provoking experience which is the same for me each year. Hundreds of strangers all standing in silence, reflecting on all the lives tragically lost through battles past & present.
As the 2 minutes ended, a further rocket was fired and the guard of honour marched off through the main street.

It's times like this that my faith is a little restored in our usually rather shallow society. Towns and city's throughout the country all sharing the same moment of silent thought & respect. I hope we always continue to reflect on this special day in the future.

The Poppy Appeal from The Royal British Legion. They do amazing work for the welfare of serving and former forces personnel in the UK

12 blog comments below

Remembrance Day (or as we call it Wapenstilstand) is quite a big thing in Belgium too, especially in the area of Ypres and in Brussels. Every year, there is a ceremony under the Meningate (or as we call it the Menenpoort, there are ten thousands of names carved into the stone of soldiers who died in the area around Ypres (in total around 500.000 people died there)). In Brussels, the King and Queen lay flowers at the Congress Column (also known as the grave of the unknown soldiers because there are five soldiers buried underneath) on this day. It's also a 'Holiday' for us.

adri on Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:32 pm
Ok, problem solved I guess... It was a space between the url-tags that caused the problem...

Not that the post was that interesting. :p

adri on Thu Nov 11, 2010 3:22 pm
Ah, that is interesting Adri, we have a similar tomb in Westminster Abbey in London.
The Unknown Warrior is buried in Westminster Abbey as a memorial to the dead of World War One, particularly those who have no known grave.

In 1920, as part of ceremonies in Britain to commemorate the dead of World War One, there was a proposal that the body of an unknown soldier, sailor or airman lying in an unmarked grave abroad be returned to England for burial in Westminster Abbey. This was to symbolise all those who had died for their country, but whose place of death was not known, or whose body remained unidentified.

Buried in the same place as former Kings & Queens, it is the only tomb no-one can ever walk on.
watersoul on Thu Nov 11, 2010 3:30 pm
It seems ( ) that a lot of countries have such a place where the grave of an unknown warrior symbolizes all the soldiers that died in a war for their country.

adri Smile
adri on Thu Nov 11, 2010 3:46 pm
When so many died in unmarked graves perhaps it was the least each country could do to commemorate the bravery and sacrifice of so many lives.

Incidently, my own Great Great Grandfather is buried in Ypres, Belgium, I've only seen a picture, but I will travel to pay my respects one day.
watersoul on Thu Nov 11, 2010 4:05 pm
Here in the United States, they call this day Veteran's Day. Sadly, there is little remembrance or honoring of our veterans going on.
standready on Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:52 am
Here in the United States, they call this day Veteran's Day. Sadly, there is little remembrance or honoring of our veterans going on.

Thats such a pity, the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, is the one moment of the year that my country shares a thoughtful silent moment of remembrance.
With absolute silence and stillness in shopping malls, town centre's, civic square's and other public places, if someone disrespectfully broke the silence they'd probably be lynched, and in my opinion, rightly so!

I'm always emotional and saddened by the moment of remembrance, but I'm glad we share it as a nation in the UK, it makes us all think about the lives we dont normally think about for the other 364 days of the year.
watersoul on Fri Nov 12, 2010 1:25 am
double post because of my poor internet connection...deleted!
watersoul on Fri Nov 12, 2010 1:25 am
It wasn't a universal silence.

Muslims Against Crusaders burnt a giant poppy

It was done to coincide with the two minutes silence,instead of reporting it the media should just of ignored them.
truespeed on Fri Nov 12, 2010 3:30 am
The irony is that they serve only to show their ignorance of the many Muslim soldiers who served and died for freedom in WW1, and equally disrespected the memory of their own people...
Stories of Muslim soldiers on the Western Front during WWI

When Britain declared war on Germany in 1914, there were only 155,000 personnel in the British Indian Army. By the end of World War I more than 1,300,000 soldiers had volunteered for service. The largest ethnic class to serve Britain were the Punjabi Mussalmans. The majority of these men had come from the cities of Rawalpindi, Jhelum, Attock, Lahore and Rohtak. In addition to the Punjabi contribution there were large numbers of sepoys recruited from the North West Frontier Province. Pashtuns from Peshawar, Kohat, Waziristan and Nowshera had all played a pivotal role in the defence of the British realm.

I support the right to protest to a point, even if it is distasteful, and if they are not inciting violence then they can unfortunately "get away with it" in the UK. Slogans such as "British soldiers burn in hell" are probably just about within the law because lets face it, you have to believe in hell, and as such the existence of hell would be unprovable in a British law court.
I do think the police could have got them under the Public Order Act though, and it could easily have been argued they committed acts of "threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour" which could have justified temporary detention.

That police escort was definitely needed, if for whatever lame legal reason they couldn't stop them, because if most people hadn't been at the cenotaph 3 miles away, the police could well have been investigating the deaths of the protesters instead. I really cannot imagine the many former service men there holding themselves back had the two different crowds met each other.

It didn't actually get onto the 2 main terrestrial news channels here, and only got a 30 second report on Channel 4 which I saw with my son. Even he was shocked at the ignorance of these men and commented "Dad, don't they realise this is about respecting the dead no matter what religion they are, thats so wrong".

I would imagine many Muslim people equally were disheartened by that protest. It's just a pity the police feel their hands are tied and they're unable to stop such protests. If these kind of protests continue however, I see a big backlash coming from the non Muslim majority of our country, and much violence in the future. Not a happy thought.
watersoul on Fri Nov 12, 2010 7:17 pm
Perhaps remembrance day is different for people to some degree. For me, it is a day to reflect about my life in general. I take the day personally. It is not about sides or winning. If there were a side to choose, I would be on the side of my savour. There are a lot of people involved but even if it was only about one solitary person that gave their life for the benefit of my ability to live a better life because of some tyrannical, violent, dominating evil who would dictate how my life was going be, still, I am eternally grateful. I am the innocent. The weak who can not fight the powerful. I am poor who can not resist being enslaved. Someone stood up to the evil and died for me. How can I not show a little respect and be silent for only a minute.
Bluedoll on Sat Nov 13, 2010 11:36 am
I agree Bluedoll, when I "remember", and certainly while stood in silence with the crowd, I thought of all the lives tragically lost, "Allied" or "enemy".
I've said many times that, in my opinion, if the leaders of all our countries had to fight themselves, we'd probably have no wars.
The service men & women have and will continue to do as they are ordered, but their orders are not always wisely given by the governments at the top.

Yes, to me, Remembrance day is about all the victims of war, military and civilian, attacker and defender.
watersoul on Sat Nov 13, 2010 4:26 pm

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