Monday, November 12, 2018

100 years on from the Armistice, the UK remembers

Peter Thomas -
L o n d o n ,   U K - 

Image courtesy of Buckingham Palace
Her Majesty The Queen joined thousands at the Cenotaph to remember the fallen of all conflicts.

Her Majesty The Queen and members of the Royal Family joined thousands of people to commemorate the centenary of the end of the First World War today as part of the traditional National Service of Remembrance.

A two-minute silence was held at 11am and wreaths laid at the Cenotaph to commemorate the servicemen and women killed in all conflicts from the First World War onwards.

His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales laid a wreath on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen and an Equerry laid on behalf of The Duke of Edinburgh. The Prime Minister Theresa May attended the service along with other members of the Cabinet, former Prime Ministers and 765 Armed Forces personnel.

Accompanying The Prince of Wales were members of the Royal Family including The Duke of Cambridge, The Duke of Sussex, The Duke of York, The Earl of Wessex, The Princess Royal, and The Duke of Kent and Prince Michael of Kent. The Queen viewed the service from the balcony of the nearby Foreign & Commonwealth Office, as did The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duchess of Cambridge, The Duchess of Sussex, The Countess of Wessex and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence.

This years' event took an additional poignancy as the UK marked 100 years since the signing of the Armistice which ended the war on the Western Front at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918.

Federal German President His Excellency Frank-Walter Steinmeier also laid a wreath on behalf of the German people. It is the first time since the Cenotaph was inaugurated in 1920 that a representative of Germany took part in the National Service of Remembrance and his attendance symbolises the peace and friendship that exists between the two countries today.

At 12:30pm after the wreath laying and the traditional Royal British Legion’s Veterans Parade, bells rang out across the country and internationally. This echoed the spontaneous outpouring of celebration on 11 November 1918 when news spread of the Armistice.

10,000 people then processed past the Cenotaph in ‘A Nation’s Thank You - The People’s Procession’ to pay tribute to the brave men and women who fought in the First World War.

The day concluded with a Service of Thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey which gave thanks for peace and the return of the many servicemen who came back to their families.

Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright said:

“On the centenary of the Armistice, we will come together as a nation to stand in silence and honour the fallen of all conflicts. Over the past four years we have told the story of the First World War and the unique generation who served so bravely and made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. Today, we will also give thanks for all those that returned and the peace they fought so hard for."

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

“To be at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday is a privilege and provides us with the opportunity for reflection along with millions of people in countries that continue to be strong allies. The First World War touched communities across the globe and I commend all those who have helped us remember the First World War generation. We will never forget them or the sacrifice of thousands of British and Commonwealth troops who have given their lives in other conflicts."


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