why do we have 2 minutes silence for remembrance day
At 11am on each Remembrance Sunday a two minute silence is observed at war memorials and other public spaces across the UK. The silence is meant as a tribute to those who lost their lives fighting for their country - but what is the significance of that date and time? On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918 the guns of Europe fell silent. After four years of bitter fighting, The Great War was finally over. The Armistice was signed at 5am in a railway carriage in the Forest of Compiegne, France on November 11, 1918. Six hours later, at 11am, the war ended. The first Remembrance Day was conducted in 1919 throughout Britain and the Commonwealth. Originally called Armistice Day, it commemorated the end of hostilities the previous year. It came to symbolise the end of the war and provide an opportunity to remember those who had died. In a letter published in the London Evening News on 8 May 1919, an Australian journalist, Edward George Honey, had proposed a respectful silence to remember those who had given their lives in the First World War. This was brought to the attention of King George V and on 7 November 1919, the King issued a proclamation which called for a two minute silence:
"All locomotion should cease, so that, in perfect stillness, the thoughts of everyone may be concentrated on reverent remembrance of the glorious dead. " After the end of the Second World War in 1945 Armistice Day became Remembrance Day to include all those who had fallen in the two World Wars and other conflicts.
Since 1919, on the second Sunday of November, otherwise known as Remembrance Sunday, a two minute silence has been observed at 11am at war memorials, cenotaphs, religious services and shopping centres throughout the country. The Royal Family, along with leading politicians and religious leaders gather at The Cenotaph in Whitehall, London for a service and all branches of the civilian and military services are represented in ceremonies throughout Britain and the Commonwealth. Millions of people have fallen silent to remember the nation's war dead, as the UK marked Armistice Day. Big Ben, which has been silent since August while repair work is carried out, chimed at 11:00 GMT. Events have been held around the country to mark the 99th anniversary of the end of World War One. And the Queen and other members of the Royal Family have taken part in a Royal Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Prime Minister Theresa May, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cambridge were among those at the event, run by the British Legion and featuring performances from Emeli Sande, Tom Odell, Melanie C, Alfie Boe and the Band of HM Royal Marines.
The service marked the centenaries of the women's service in the regular Armed Forces, the Battle of Passchendaele, the creation of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and the 100th birthday of Dame Vera Lynn. There was also praise for service personnel and civilian services who came to the aid of the injured in this year's terrorist attacks in London and Manchester. Earlier, the Western Front Association held its annual service of remembrance at the Cenotaph, in Whitehall, central London, where a two-minute silence was observed. And the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire hosted an outdoor service of remembrance within the walls of the Armed Forces Memorial. The Western Front Association's annual service of remembrance at the Cenotaph, Whitehall In Brighton, the world's tallest moving observation tower, the British Airways i360, is turning red to mark the event. On Sunday, Prince Charles will lay a wreath at the Cenotaph on his mother's behalf. It will be the first time, as head of state, that the Queen will observe the ceremony from a nearby balcony, where she will be joined by the Duke of Edinburgh.
Elsewhere, Australians have observed a minute's silence to remember their war dead. The country's Sydney Opera House was lit up with red poppies. Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull joined his New Zealand counterpart, Jacinda Ardern, in Vietnam - where the Apec summit is taking place - to attend a service of remembrance. "We remember every ANZAC serviceman and woman who has made the supreme sacrifice to keep our two countries free," he said. Armistice Day is a national holiday in France and Belgium. French president Emmanuel Macron has laid a wreath in front of the statue of Georges Clemenceau - the prime minister of France during World War One. Armistice Day falls each year on 11 November to mark the day in 1918 when the fighting in World War One was stopped. The Allies and Germany signed an armistice in a railway carriage in the Forest of Compiegne in France at 05:00. Six hours later, at 11:00, the conflict ceased. King George V announced that a two-minute silence would be observed in 1919, four days before the first anniversary of Armistice Day. The silence continues to be observed every year on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. Watch the Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance on BBC One on Saturday at 21:00 GMT.
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