Lest we forget
Remembrance Sunday is a solemn and significant day in the calendar, holding deep historical and emotional significance as it pays homage to the countless men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice to secure the freedom and peace we enjoy today.
The Origin of Remembrance Sunday
Remembrance Sunday finds its roots in the aftermath of World War I. November 11, 1918, marked the armistice that ended the hostilities of the Great War, and a momentous occasion when the guns finally fell silent. To honour those who had lost their lives during this catastrophic conflict, a two-minute silence was observed on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. This tradition has continued to this day, with Remembrance Sunday serving as a dedicated occasion to remember all those who have fallen in conflicts since.
Honouring the Fallen
On Remembrance Sunday, people from all walks of life come together to honour and remember those who gave their lives in the service of their country. Commemorative ceremonies are held throughout the UK and the Commonwealth with the largest gathering in London at the Cenotaph. An obelisk created as a memorial, located in Whitehall. The ceremony includes a parade of veterans, military personnel, and other organizations, as well as the laying of wreaths by political leaders, members of the Royal family, and other dignitaries with the Last Post bugle call signalling the two-minute silence at 11 a.m.
The Poppy Symbol
The red poppy flower has become the symbol of Remembrance Sunday. The tradition of wearing a poppy is rooted in the famous war poem "In Flanders Fields" by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, where the poppies grew amid the graves of soldiers in Flanders, a region in Belgium deeply affected by the First World War. The Royal British Legion adopted the red poppy as a symbol to raise funds for veterans and their families. Wearing a poppy during the weeks leading up to Remembrance Sunday is a way for individuals to show their support and respect for the fallen.
Reflecting on Sacrifice
Remembrance Sunday is not just about remembering the fallen but also acknowledging the impact of war on families and communities. It is a day to reflect on the sacrifices made by those who served and those left behind. The emotional weight of the occasion is palpable, as we remember the soldiers, sailors, airmen, and civilians who gave everything they had so that we could live in a world free from tyranny and conflict.
How can you get involved
There are many ways in which you can honour the fallen and support those who step forward to protect this country. Wearing a poppy during the weeks leading up to Remembrance Sunday is a way for individuals to show their support and respect for the fallen. Many people support the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal, by donating a small amount of money and purchasing a poppy from them, you can support their work helping serving and ex-serving men and women, and their families.
Attending your local parade is also another fantastic way of paying your respects to the fallen, held across the country these parades are a fantastic way to support those local to your community who have played a part in keeping this country safe. Keep a look out on local community pages and news for details of timings.
If you cannot make it to a parade then you can still participate from your own home. Following the coverage on television of the ceremony in London is a fantastic way to see all of the personnel that this day is about. Or simply taking part in the 2 minute silence at 11am on Remembrance Sunday is a way to stop and reflect on the memory of all those who have served this country.