Friday, 12 November 2021

Moment of Silence … Remembrance Day 11th November 2021

 

I have been wondering what to write this year – at least to make us all remember, perhaps in a somewhat different approach to Remembrance Day – which we always commemorate on the Sunday nearest to the 11th of November – when the Armistice was signed in 1918 … the inauguration of our Remembrance Day was set one year later.


The Cenotaph, London

The world does not seem to have learnt any lessons … and albeit in 2000 I felt we were in a golden era – things have definitely taken a turn for the worse as the years go by.


I was somewhat surprised to read that a blogger from a European nation wondered why remembering Remembrance Day was relevant today – as we only read about it in books … I'm sure their family would have fought in both Wars … it has shocked me.



The University of Leicester's
reminder

We live today in relative peace and harmony because of all the souls lost in War, or hurt by any War– we are so fortunate.





When I looked for a different approach … I noted how the Moment of Silence came about … that period of silent contemplation, prayer, reflection, or meditation – that genuine gesture of respect dedicated to the dead.


It seems to have originated in Portugal in 1912 but was a ten minute dedication of silence … we usually apply the one minute silence – except on special occasions …



or as we do every year on our Remembrance Day – the two minute silence is held at the Cenotaph … we need to remember those who sacrificed their lives for us to live in peace.



The Peace Lily

There were a great many small commemorations around the British Isles yesterday – the 11th day – and on Sunday we will observe the formal commemoration at the Cenotaph in London.



With special thanks to all who have allowed us to live today …


Hilary Melton-Butcher

Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

32 comments:

Jacqui Murray said...

What a wonderful post, Hilary. Your line--"We live today in relative peace and harmony because of all the souls lost in War, or hurt by any War"--that's true, innit. When I read historical fiction, too often, life is about fights and battles and who now runs the country. We are lucky, aren't we.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
The debate about relevance is been around for some time now; I do think there needs to be a little more focus on more recent conflicts so that younger generations can grasp a deeper understanding of what peace costs us... and I pray that those who question it never have to find out for real what it all means... YAM xx

David M. Gascoigne, said...

I confess to being somewhat uneasy about Remembrance Day. Many years ago, I knew a fellow who had been conscripted in World War 1 and survived the Battle of the Somme. This chap was already fifty when I was twenty. He joined the Legion briefly, and quit, feeling that the people there glorified and glamourized war, talking of it as though it were a splendid game. He made the point that he did not wish to go to war, had no choice in the matter, and certainly had no sense of heroism at being compelled to fight his fellow humans, who no doubt were just like him, with no hint of enmity between them. He always resented it if people thanked him for his service. He never felt he "served", rather was taken from his home and sent to kill, by aging politicians. Of course, god was on the side of everyone! It is customary for "us" to thank "our" veterans for our freedom. What do the people of the losing side thank their veterans for? What thanks do the Jews, gypsies, homosexuals and others sent to the concentration camps owe in thanks to weak politicians who enabled Hitler? Wars continue to this day, as futile as ever. The USA just spent $300 million dollars a day for twenty years in Afghanistan to hand it back to the Taliban. Well over a hundred Canadians lost their lives there. For what? Remember if you will, but remember also that not everyone has this blind devotion to remembrance. For some, like the fellow whose life was changed forever in World War I, remembrance is far from sweet. There should not be a blanket expectation that everyone should think like you, and, with great respect, you have no right to be shocked that the blogger from the European nation questions what it all means. I wonder myself.

Elephant's Child said...

I am probably more with David here. I like the simple silent remembering but resent it being used as a political photo opportunity.
I also suspect that this is a commemoration for the converted and doubt that those who have not been touched by war will register its presence, much less its meaning. How I long for the day that this (and similar) days are for historic reasons only.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Jacqui/ Yam / David / EC ... I'm going to reply and just say I'm really pleased to have your views ... I too prefer a quiet thoughtful time - as at our Service at the Cenotaph on Sunday.

I'm going to leave my reply at that for the time being ... there's been lots going on ... and I'll tie myself in knots if I try to reply - apologies.

Thanks to the four of you - I do appreciate your sentiments ... with thoughts - Hilary

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

At least our Memorial Day and Veterans' Day still get notice here. Not relevant? Dumb!

Liz A. said...

Most of the time, the holidays are moved to the nearest Monday here. Not Veteran's Day this year. (Which made it a four-day weekend.) It's one of the more solemn occasions.

Mike@Bit About Britain said...

Nice, thoughtful, post Hilary. I'm afraid there is a lot of ignorance around the marking of Armistice Day, or Remembrance Sunday. Most informed people in the UK, and in Europe, will understand it only too well. They will appreciate that we remember all, not from a narrow, nationalist, viewpoint - but respecting all, including former foes. Mutual respect is part of the path toward peace.

Mike@Bit About Britain said...

I have just read one of your other commentators, Hilary, and can only conclude that he is confused. There is nothing political about remembrance. No one glorifies war, or blindly following of inept politicians. We need to do better.

Janie Junebug said...

Your post is lovely, Hilary. I'm afraid the U.S. doesn't feel as if it's a peaceful place these days with the political divides and continuing anger from the people who don't want the COVID vaccine.

Love,
Janie

Hels said...

In primary school, we sent students to the Shrine, to reflect during the Minute of Silence and to hear the The Last Post played on a bugle. In high school, the entire school attended an outdoor assembly where ex-servicemen lowered the flag and made teary speeches.

Does that happen now?

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Alex/ Liz A/ Mike x 2 / Janie and Hels … again I'm going to add a general reply – as we will remember as part of our personal culture. The media promotes Remembrance Day – in print, news websites, and I'm sure social media – though I blog – but I don't pay attention to other social media sites.

Remembrance Day is still very important here – and Sunday will commemorate the Armistice and all peoples who have suffered with war … as Mike mentions: “respecting all, including former foes. Mutual respect is part of the path toward peace.”

Thank you and I'm grateful to have all your thoughts … Hilary

Jemima Pett said...

I sometimes wonder whether we remember it in the right way. But with shenanigans developing in Eastern Europe largely driven by Belarus v Poland (or is someone else behind it?) it looks remarkable similar to other disputes that led up to previous wars. The destabilising of the EU could be a disaster that we really don't want to happen.
So unless we remember the fallen, we will never remember to prevent it happening again.

Dan said...

World War One certainly wasn't the war to end all wars. At the time, we didn't imagine needing to give it a number. I hope and pray the count never exceeds two. The farther we drift from these wars, the less we seem to remember. We remember the battles, maybe some names, but we seem to have forgotten why the wars started. We seem to forget the danger of hatred, bullying and marginalizing entire groups of people just because they are different from us - whoever we are. I truly hope it doesn't take another war to make us realize the lessons we either never learned or have forgotten.

Jo-Anne's Ramblings said...

Well said I hope people never forget these brave young and not so young men & women who gave their all for us.............

retirementreflections said...

Thank you for this post, Hilary. I join you in thanking those who fought to give us our lives and freedoms today.

Sandra Cox said...

Thank you for honoring and remembering.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Jemima/ Dan/ Jo-Anne/ Donna/ Sandra …
Thank you to you, and to all who read – we each have our own way in our Remembrance Day remembrances and thoughts – we all wonder and have concern for our future – let us have peace, respect and care for all – in each and every day … life is precious … with thoughts for us all.

Hilary

Annalisa Crawford said...

It will always be important to remember. I wish I could say we'd learnt from those past horrors, but sadly I don't think we as global citizens have.

Debbie D. said...

"The world does not seem to have learnt any lessons" True, that! It's a shame that many young people don't recognize or respect the sacrifices their forebears made to ensure our safety and freedom. Fortunately, in Canada, as in the UK, Remembrance Day is an important occasion, marked by many reverent ceremonies. #LestWeForget 🌸

Pradeep Nair said...

Those were such difficult days. The world is comparatively far more peaceful and lives much more comfortable.

Joanne said...

There were lots of salutes to our Veterans (living and dead) on Thursday 11/11 here TX and the USA. I don't know what they really teach in schools these days to emphasize the history involved and the sacrifices taken to cause the need for a Remembrance Day. Your post was simple and direct - well done. Thanks

D.G. Kaye said...

A lovely tribute Hilary, to those who fought our freedoms. <3

DMS said...

I find a moment or moments of silence to be very powerful.

Have a good week!
~Jess

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Annalisa / Debbie / Pradeep / Joanne / Debby / Jess ... thanks for commenting - we are all coming at Remembrance Day from our own points of view. However as many of you mention ... we do remember those who fought for us to have our freedom.

I watched our very moving Cenotaph ceremony and realised how all encompassing it has now become ... next year I will write more fully on the Commemoration Service explaining the day more fully.

Moments of Silence are so valuable in our lives. Thank you - Hilary

Keith's Ramblings said...

From the wonderful service at the Royal Albert Hall on Saturday to the 9000 who marched past the cenotaph yesterday, we still remember them and I sure will continue to do so.

Rhodesia said...

Hilary, despite David's comment, and being shocked at the comment received that you only read it in books, I am equally shocked. We go to both Victory Day on the 8th May and to 11th November remembrance services. It is so important here in France to remember, and every name is read out of the fallen. I think it is so important to remember and to make sure the younger generation remember as well.

I could add more here but best I think first. Take care Hilary and stay safe. Diane

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Keith / Diane – great to see you both … and thank you … the Royal Albert Hall on Saturday – did have the most incredible music – so appropriate for Remembrance Day.

While the Service at the annual Cenotaph Remembrance Day always compels one to remember and to realise the enormity of our forefathers' time during any war, especially the first world war – I think next year I will set out the organisations that join the Service and how the Day is changing and including many …

Yes – most of our villages, towns and cities, all with War Memorials, had Remembrance Day Services … they are humbling to see and be a part of …

I appreciate your comments and thoughts – all the best Hilary

Sandra Cox said...

That is so true about not having learned. We're like a gerbil on a wheel, we never get off.
Have a great one:)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Thanks Sandra - we do need to think about what's happening - and evaluating the things happening and what they might lead to ...

Cheers Hilary

Susan Kane said...

Amen, and amen.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Thanks Susan - yes moments of silence for an "Amen" - we need them ... quiet reflection - thank you - Hilary