Today is Armistice Day, also known as Remembrance Day.
This day marks the day that World War One ended, at 11am on the 11th day of the 11th month, in 1918. At 11am a two-minute silence is held to remember all of those who have died in the wars. Also, there is Remembrance Sunday each year on the second Sunday in November (that just so happens to fall on the 11 November).
There are ceremonies held at war memorials, cenotaphs and churches throughout the country and abroad.
This anniversary is used to remember all who have died in wars – not just World War One. This includes World War Two, the Falklands War, the Gulf War and conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.
We hold the two minutes of silence because of King George V who on the 11 November 1919 a year after the end of World War One asked the public to observe a silence at 11am.
“All locomotion should cease, so that, in perfect stillness, the thoughts of everyone may be concentrated on reverent remembrance of the glorious dead.”
– King George V
Why we wear poppies:
Leading up to the 11th you see people on TV and in the streets wearing a poppy. This is because the poppy is a symbol to remember those who have given their lives in war. Millions of poppies are handed out by tens of thousands of volunteers. Additionally, poppies are the chosen symbol because they are the flowers which grew on the battlefields after the end of World War One.
This has been famously described in a World War One poem In Flanders Fields, which will be linked.
The money that is made from these poppies are donated is used to help the servicemen and women who are still alive, whose lives have been impacted/changed by the wars they have fought in. The money might help them get jobs and a place to live, as well as helping to provide the support that older war veterans may need. Additionally, helping those who have lost their loved ones because of the wars.