After World War 1, also known as the Great War, a two-minute silence was observed every year at 11am on 11th November (Armistice Day), in order to remember and honour those who had died for their country. Part of this remembrance was the fervent wish that never again would we see such a terrible loss of life in such unprecedented numbers on all sides.
However, just two decades later, still recovering from the first World War, we entered into World War 2. The two-minute silence was moved to the Sunday nearest to Armistice Day, so as not to interrupt the renewed ‘war effort’. It was named Remembrance Sunday and it has been held on the second Sunday of November ever since.
All those involved in national warfare gather together at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, London to solemnly lay poppy wreaths at its base. Memorial services are held throughout the UK and the Commonwealth to give meditative thanks and regrets for all those who have been killed in wars since 1914. Poppy pins, badges and brooches are worn on coat lapels as a symbol of the dead lying on the battlefield where otherwise there would be beautiful countryside.
(Image: David Dixon at geograph.org.uk / CC BY-SA 2.0)