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Forces War Records Blog

A TIME OF REFLECTION, RESPECT AND GRATITUDE

Blogger: GemSen Today is a time of reflection, respect and gratitude. It’s the second Sunday of November and that means it’s Remembrance Sunday – when we remember all those who have fought and died in war. This is a time to pause our own busy lives to remember all those who have given their lives for our freedom. Today, people across the nation will pause to reflect on the sacrifices made by the brave service men and women who have fought for our country, selflessly and courageously. Could you have done the same? At 11am a silence will be observed at war memorials, cenotaphs, religious services and shopping centres across the country. At the Cenotaph in Whitehall, London a National Service of Remembrance will be held, attended by The Royal Family, Prime Minister, Mayor of London, politicians and religious leaders. Representatives of the Armed Forces, Merchant Air and Navy and Fishing Fleets, and members of faith communities also usually attend.

This service, dedicated to those who have given their lives in war, is a proud display of national honour. Originally it was a commemoration of First World War soldiers who had lost their lives in battle, but after the Second World War included the war dead of both World Wars. The Cenotaph service aims to ensure that nobody is forgotten, and now it remembers all those who have served their country and have suffered and died in conflict and all those who mourn them. The wreath laid by The Queen and the other tributes placed on the Cenotaph are dedicated to all who have suffered or died in war. High Commissioners from Commonwealth countries also attend the ceremony and lay wreaths at the Cenotaph. How will you be commemorating the event? Are you planning or participating in a Remembrance Service? What does the occasion mean to you? The Ode of Remembrance comes from the fourth verse of ‘For The Fallen’ poem by Laurence Binyon that was first published in the Times on September 21, 1914. It really sums up what Remembrance Sunday and Remembrance Day is all about, read it below: For the Fallen by Lawrence Binyon With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children, England mourns for her dead across the sea. Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of 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 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. Poem Source: Western Front Association
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