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View Diary: Morning Open Thread: Veteran's Day Edition (38 comments)

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  •  Two or three silences (4+ / 0-)

    The Queen often observes three two minute silences each year.

    In recent years the tradition of a general public silence at 11.00 on 11/11 ("the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month") has been revived.

    The main official ceremonies are held at the Cenotaph in Whitehall on the following Sunday. The Cenotaph is the war memorial erected shortly after WWI and replaces the wood original temporary version. (The name means "empty tomb" and was a great comfort to the many widows and families whose loved ones had no known grave.) The silence starts at about 34:45.  

    The evening before she attends the Remembrance Festival of the Royal British Legion (the organisation for veterans and current members of the armed forces). That ends with a "drumhead service" in which regimental drums are formed into a makeshift altar. Start at 12:30 to include the traditional valedictory, known in Canada as the Act of Remembrance:

        They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
        Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
        At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
        We will remember them.

    The silence ends with a exhortation taken from the memorial at Kohima:
     When you go home
     Tell them of us and say
     For your tomorrow
     We gave our today

    Two 6 year olds present a posy of poppies to thank their forebears for preserving their freedoms, Poppy flowers, the British symbol of remembrance also rain down on the assembled service personnel during the silence.

    BTW the serices include prayers for peace for the Queen, Commonwealth and all people and for harmony between nations.

    This year of course 11/11 is on a Sunday so there have been only two acts of rememberanc. The next time this will occur will be 11/11/2018, the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI

    "Who stood against President Obama in 2012?" - The trivia question nobody can answer.

    by Lib Dem FoP on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 06:11:21 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you, Lib (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      for adding these traditions from Great Britain and these videos as well.

      I sometimes use the quote you included from Robert Laurence Binyon in his poem, For the Fallen in my IGTNT tributes.  Here is the complete piece:

      For The Fallen

      With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
      England mourns for her dead across the sea.
      Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
      Fallen in the cause of the free.

      Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
      Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
      There is music in the midst of desolation
      And a glory that shines upon our tears.

      They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
      Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
      They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
      They fell with their faces to the foe.

      They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
      Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
      At the going down of the sun and in the morning
      We will remember them.

      They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
      They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
      They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
      They sleep beyond England's foam.

      But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
      Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
      To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
      As the stars are known to the Night;

      As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
      Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
      As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
      To the end, to the end, they remain.
                  ~ Robert Laurence Binyon

      He wrote this in 1914 during the Great War and it is recited on Remembrance Sunday in Great Britain, Remembrance Day in Canada and in Australia and New Zealand as part of their Anzac Day ceremonies.

      Prayers for peace...

      As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

      by JaxDem on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 06:35:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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