Remembrance Day is observed in many countries across the world as a way for people to reminisce about the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty. Also known as Poppy Day or Armistice Day, it marks the moment when warring forces agreed to stop fighting World War 1, at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11thmonth. Apparently, King George V initiated a 2 minute silence at exactly 11 o’clock to commemorate those who had died for their country in a war that marked the beginning of the use of modern technology in warfare and led to millions of deaths.
Hundreds of people attended the service at Bognor War Memorial on Sunday where poppy wreaths were laid at the foot of the memorial. The poppy is seen as an appropriate colour to symbolise the blood spilled in the war, and poppies bloomed with vigour across some of the worse battlefields of the First World War. I climbed on to John’s shoulders to get a decent view and saw representatives from the Royal British Legion, the armed forces including army, air and sea cadets, and civic leaders, as well as St John Ambulance and the Salvation Army, to name but a few. I looked around during the 2 minutes of silence we observed at 11am and wondered how many untold stories there were in the crowd, stories of grueling boot camps, painful combat experiences, intense loss, inspiring strength, camaraderie, liberty and courage. It’s important to remember those who have given their lives in conflict and I was honoured to pay my respects to the soldiers who have died in battle as part of this tribute to our armed forces.