Britain remembers the fallen on Armistice Day

Two-minute silences take place each year in Britain on 11 November as the country remembers fallen soldiers of the First World War on the date the armistice was signed.

The silence is an annual ritual, taking place at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, which is the exact time the guns fell silent along the Western Front in 1918.

The Royal British Legion is the national custodian of remembrance and holds its own event each year.

Poppies are typically worn as a sign of remembrance at this time of year. The small red flower was one of few plant species to grow around the bodies of fallen soldiers in Europe throughout the bitter battles of the World War I. The poppy was mentioned in Canadian surgeon John McCrae’s poem, In Flanders Fields. It was adopted by the Royal British Legion as the symbol of their annual poppy appeal in 1921.

This year is the Armistice Centenary and Remembrance Sunday marks 100 years since the end of the Great War. A service is being held at the Whitehall Cenotaph, central London, where wreaths of red poppies are placed around the cenotaph. Thousands of people around the country will join in a two-minute silence in honour of those who gave their lives in the First and Second World War and other conflicts.

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