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Thread: Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day

  1. #1
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    Default Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day

    It is the time of year when newsreaders, politicians and other people in the public eye wear poppies in the run up to both Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day. I keep forgetting to wear mine, even though one has plenty of reminder from other people doing so, wearing theirs usually on their jacket lapel. Elderly people selling poppies in High Streets and shopping centres across Great Britain - many of them are getting in in years themselves and still have memories of the Second World War. The big question is, who will continue their work and fundraising when they will be no longer around? - no doubt that they cannot do it forever and they won't have too long left themselves. Will things be passed onto the younger generation for the sake of what happened all those decades ago? I do hope so - one should never become ignorant about the past and certainly not about out predecessors and ancestors.

    It is one of those rare events that has both a fixed date in the calendar year, and also has a fixed day of the week - the second Sunday in November and 11th November, assuming that they are on two different days. Last year the 11th of November did fall on a Sunday, and so we only had one day, and it's a pity that just like things that are or fall on a Sunday, that we don't have Monday 12th November in lieu of that like we could have done last year. After all we have Easter Monday because of Easter, and various events are held on a Monday if the actual date falls on a Sunday.

    My late father was a World War Two veteran and he used go on about what he did during the War in the first half of the 1940s - he had the medals to prove it, and one supposes that his involvement had impact for future generations such as ourselves - it shaped what the next few decades was going to be in many ways. His father fought in the First World War as well. I recently donated 5.00 to the Royal British Legion by post and told them about my father in the letter I sent to them - in the back of a wardrobe, I found an old Bluebird toffee tin that belonged to my father for the first time in the 1990s, and opening it, I found old newspaper cuttings from the 1940s; black and white photographs of people one could not recognise; an army book; army membership cards and other things - a great time capsule.

    As well as seeing the Royal Festival of Remembrance on Saturday nights and the Sunday morning coverage at the Cenotaph on BBC 1, I suppose that we do our own thing when it comes to remembering our ancestors and what they did up to 100 years ago now. True, we are a lot more independent and do our own things these days, and we rarely know what our neighbour is also doing, mostly because one doesn't as if we have officially been invited. The lack of community spirit can be harmful to society in general, and we need more of it - local churches in that respect are good places for that, and one assumes that next month's General Election will see a lot of it in evidence as well.

    One thing that is symbolic is the two minute silence - in recent years on Remembrance Sunday I have been watching the BBC 1 coverage and observed it as Big Ben bonged 11 times on the hour. Likewise, I also listen via BBC Radio 2 if 11th November falls on a weekday, normally around 15 minutes after Ken Bruce's Popmaster quiz has finished. I have been walking down the street listening to a personal radio and stop for two minutes wherever I am at 11.00 am, and I notice that very few others I see do that, and cars almost seem to keep moving on the roads as well. Obviously, Armistice Day is more lowkey than Remembrance Sunday (assuming as they are both on separate days) and also Armistice Day is more likely to be on a weekday where most business goes ahead as usual.

    One year in the mid 2000s when 11.00 am on 11th November came around, I was probably in a local Tesco store and was about to put a box of Kellogg's Corn Flakes into my trolley - at that moment the announcement by the store on the tannoy that the store was about to observe the silence for two minutes, so I stood obediently next to my trolley as a mark of respect. I think that this is what brings people together and strangers as well, being in the same situation and observing the same thing before they go on their own separate way once again. Sometimes that magic or harmony of getting people together to participate in an official event is so healthy do, and we should do it a lot more often.

    Do you mark the two minute silences each year, and is it in memory of family members who fought in the two great wars?
    Telling it almost exactly like it was so many years later - and proud of doing so!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day

    I think it's almost become bigger in more recent years. I remember special assemblies at school with a veteran giving a speech and slides, but now schools close. Another new thing though is people stealing poppy collection boxes for the donation money in them (they don't want the pins). We seem to have much smaller poppy pins in Canada though, in England it looks like a corsage almost. Very deluxe affairs!

    I had a grandfather who served in WWII, and various great-uncles... one of them loved his time stationed in England as he got to look up some family relatives in the north. I had a couple of school teachers that served in WWII as well, one (RCAF) said he swam half the channel twice making for one full swim. My father was born in occupied Holland. My other grandfather was missing an eye which kept him from service somehow, but he worked at the Canadian forces shipyard. We have local and national television coverage of memorial cenotaphs and wreath laying, and the radio stations have the two minutes silence on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. I don't want to glorify but it is important to remember and to hear first hand stories. That BBC special last year which Peter Jackson worked on with the enhanced WWI footage (colour and sound added) would be a good thing to repeat each 11th think.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day

    I enjoyed reading your posts about armistice.Yesterday I put loose change in the collection box at the morrisons store,where 2 young army cadets were handing out poppies.As you said George what happens in the future when the old generation are no longer around.I always remember growing up in early 60s watching the ceremony at The Royal Albert Hall then the cenotaph on Sunday morning,my grandad used to cry when he saw the Chelsea Pensioners dressed in their red costume and proudly wearing their medals.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day

    God bless all our fallen heroes.
    ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN IN THE NEXT HALF HOUR.

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    Default Re: Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day

    If you wish to donate to the Poppy day appeal & don't have a PayPal account or bank account then you can donate by reverse text (in the UK, that is) then text POPPY to 70020

    Do you really believe the other side without provocation would launch so many ICBM's, subs and ships knowing that we would have no option to launch as well? It would break our MAD Treaty (Mutually Assured Destruction) not to mention the end of the world as we know it.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day

    Good advice, Twoky - you would make a good spokesman for the RBL!
    Telling it almost exactly like it was so many years later - and proud of doing so!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day

    We had two minutes' silence at work today. I always think of my late father during that time. He was a Japanese prisoner of war, having been captured as a hospital orderly in the fall of Singapore, so his actual involvement in the hostilities was minimal.

    After the war, he was involved in helping scientists escape from east Germany to the west. Because of this, he had to sign the Official Secrets Act. He took that very seriously and would not talk about it.
    Time flies like the wind, fruit flies like bananas - go figure!

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    Default Re: Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day

    Quote Originally Posted by George 1978 View Post
    Good advice, Twoky - you would make a good spokesman for the RBL!


    Do you really believe the other side without provocation would launch so many ICBM's, subs and ships knowing that we would have no option to launch as well? It would break our MAD Treaty (Mutually Assured Destruction) not to mention the end of the world as we know it.


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    Default Re: Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day

    Quote Originally Posted by zabadak View Post
    We had two minutes' silence at work today. I always think of my late father during that time. He was a Japanese prisoner of war, having been captured as a hospital orderly in the fall of Singapore, so his actual involvement in the hostilities was minimal.

    After the war, he was involved in helping scientists escape from east Germany to the west. Because of this, he had to sign the Official Secrets Act. He took that very seriously and would not talk about it.
    You should be very proud of your dads war efforts Zab
    ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN IN THE NEXT HALF HOUR.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day

    Just going off-line now to observe here... the local tv station televises from the Cenotaph down by the Empress hotel and Legislature buildings in Victoria, B.C.

    It's also my father's birthday... he's 78 (and on the tellingbone with Holland right now!)
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