Ed contemplates Remembrance Day (Monday 11 November) and what the day means to him.
On Remembrance Day, we honour those who sacrificed their lives for us.
The most famous symbol of Remembrance Day is the poppy. During the chaos of World War 1, the fighting left landscapes across Europe bleak from continuous bombardment. Amongst the chaos, innumerable red Flanders poppies grew in thousands of fields. These Flanders poppies became the influence behind the famous war memorial poem ‘In Flanders Fields’ by John McCrae. This poem inspired the American academic, Moina Michael, to campaign for the poppy to be the symbol of remembrance across the globe.
I wear a poppy during Remembrance and a poppy wristband all year round. This is a reminder to me of those who sacrificed everything to give us the life we now live today. It’s a day particularly close to my heart having family and family-friends fighting and dying during war and conflict. It helps me put my problems into perspective when I consider that people my age were being sent to war. I will forever remember and thank those who gave their future for mine.
Each year, in many countries, on Remembrance Day a one minute silence is held at 11am. This is because at 11am on 11 November 1918 the armistice was signed between the allies and German forces which ended World War 1. You may have heard the famous quote, ‘on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month’.
I see Remembrance as a time to appreciate the world we live in today and to thank those who gave everything for us to live in this world. It’s important to remember that we’re not glorifying war but remembering and honouring the people and their suffering during those times and giving thanks for the peace we now have.
In World War 2 it’s estimated that 70 to 85 million people died in comparison to 40 million in World War 1. Many have died in conflict since then, across the globe, including in Iraq and Afghanistan to name just a couple. Remembrance services are held all over the world to honour those who have died during these conflicts and wars.
Do you have a personal #RemembranceDay story you’d like to share?