Remembrance Day and the Two Minute Silence have been observed since the end of the First World War, but their relevance remains undiminished. When we bow our heads in reflection, we remember those who fought for our freedom during the two World Wars. But we also mourn and honour those who have lost their lives in more recent conflicts. Today, with troops on duty in Iraq, Afghanistan and other trouble spots around the world, Remembrance, and this two minute tribute, are as important as ever.
On the Sunday nearest to 11 November at 11am each year, a Remembrance Service is held at the Cenotaph to commemorate British and Commonwealth servicemen and women who died in the two World Wars and later conflicts. The monarch, religious leaders, politicians, representatives of state and the armed and auxiliary forces, gather to pay respect to those who gave their lives defending others.
Two Minute Silence
At 11am on each Remembrance Sunday a two minute silence is observed at war memorials and other public spaces across the UK. The silence is meant as a tribute to those who lost their lives fighting for their country - but what is the significance of that date and time?
In Flanders Field
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
The poppy has a long association with Remembrance Day. But how did the distinctive red flower become such a potent symbol of our remembrance of the sacrifices made in past wars?