IT was at the 11th hour, on the 11th day of the 11th month that the First World War ended in 1918.
In the years since then, that date and time has become synonymous with the nation pausing for two minutes to remember military personnel who have lost their lives in the service of their country.
Also today (Saturday 11 November), thousands will gather at the Royal Albert Hall for the Festival of Remembrance, before thousands more line the streets in Central London tomorrow to witness the royal family leading the country in remembering the war dead at the Cenotaph in Whitehall.
This year, the Queen will not personally lay a wreath – instead that duty will be undertaken for her by the Prince of Wales. However, the Queen will be present at the ceremony, joining the Duke of Edinburgh on the balcony of the nearby Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
It has been described as a ‘rare concession to her age’ that Her Majesty will not lay the wreath of poppies, but her presence, along with that of other members of her family, demonstrates the importance of this act of remembrance.
The royals will be joined in Whitehall by leading politicians, former prime ministers and representatives of countries from the Commonwealth. Watched by crowds of onlookers, this group of leaders and influencers will gather to honour the dead and to remember the human cost of conflict.
Since the last Remembrance Sunday, tensions in various parts of the world – and in particular North Korea – have grown, with a fear that the situations could yet deteriorate further.
As those people of influence gather tomorrow to remember the human cost of war, our hope must be that they won’t forget that what the world needs this weekend and into the future are promoters of peace.
The War Cry
The War Cry
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