Sunday, November 14, 2004

 

Remembrance Day

This article is from the BBC (and I had posted several days ago a fairly long history of the poem "In Flanders Fields" with an explanation of the wearing of poppies. You can find the post at The Sanity Ranch--Musings of a Philosopher Queen: In Flanders Fields )

The Queen led the tributes to Britain's war dead at the Cenotaph in London on Remembrance Sunday.

Following a two-minute silence, the Queen laid a poppy wreath in memory of the dead, including 21 troops killed in Iraq this year.

Her grandson Prince William took part in the National Service of Remembrance for the first time.

Political leaders, including Tony Blair, joined some 9,000 veterans from 20th century conflicts at the event.

Two-minute silence

The Queen, dressed in black, emerged from the old Home Office building in Whitehall just before 11am and took up her position facing the Cenotaph.

At the first stoke of Big Ben at 1100GMT, a single round was fired from a field gun to signal the start of a two-minute silence.

The boom of a second round of cannon fire, from the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery positioned on Horse Guards Parade, broke the silence.

The Prince of Wales, who is 56 on Sunday, laid a poppy wreath, along with the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh [Prince Philip, the Queen's husband], the Duke of York [Prince Andrew], the Princess Royal [Princess Anne] and Duke of Kent.

Mr Blair and other political leaders, including for the first time Northern Ireland's Rev Dr Ian Paisley, then laid wreaths, followed by Commonwealth High Commissioners and military top brass.

When all the wreaths had been laid, there was a short religious service conducted by Bishop of London Richard Chartres.

Prince William, with Sophie, Countess of Wessex, was watching the wreath-laying and march past from a first-floor balcony in the Foreign Office, overlooking Whitehall. Across the rest of the UK, cities and towns held their own services. Prince Edward led the laying of the wreaths in Edinburgh.

First Minister Jack McConnell said it was important to honour those who had made the ultimate sacrifice.

In Northern Ireland the main service was held in City Hall in Belfast.

Almost 50,000 people from Ireland died in the First World War.

In Llandudno, north Wales, the brother of Llywelyn Evans, the first Welsh solder to die in the Iraq war, laid a wreath.

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