At 11am today, millions of people will come to a standstill to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

A two minute silence will be held in the UK to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War, which took place at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, in 1918.

Both Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday – which both fall on Sunday 11th November this year – are a chance to remember not just those who fought and died in World War I, but all those who have died in the line of duty.

Up and down the country today people will be observing the two minutes silence at various war memorials to remember those who have sacrificed themselves to secure and protect our freedom.

The most high profile memorial will be the National Service of Remembrance, held at The Cenotaph in Whitehall, London.

HM The Queen will pay tribute alongside Members of the Cabinet, Opposition Party leaders, former Prime Ministers, the Mayor of London and other ministers. Representatives of the Armed Forces, Fishing Fleets and Merchant Air and Navy will be there, as well as faith communities and High Commissioners of Commonwealth countries.

The Royal British Legion says of remembrance:

“Great Britain still believes strongly in remembering those who fought not only in World Wars, but the more than 12,000 British Servicemen and women killed or injured since 1945.

“The Royal British Legion supports silences observed during both Remembrance Sunday services and on 11 November, Armistice Day, itself. The act of Remembrance rightly has a place in – and impact on – our lives, no matter which day of the week it might fall upon.”

Since it was first adopted by The Royal British Legion in 1921, the red remembrance poppy has become a familiar emblem of Remembrance Day due to the poem In Flanders Fields by John McCrae.

McCrae was inspired by the sight of poppies growing in battle-scarred fields, which is widely regarded as a resilient flower which managed to flourish despite fields being destroyed by war.

While there are usually four official colours of the poppy, this year, one in six poppies will feature a ‘gold leaf’ with the years ‘1918-2018’ printed on it to mark the centenary.

The Legion has also produced just 40,000 ‘khadi’ poppies to honour the 74,000 Indian soldiers who lost their lives fighting for Britain in the First World War. These poppies will be made from the same linen worn by Mahatma Gandhi, rather than the traditional red and green paper.

 

The Tower of London has also been home to moving memorials this week, hosting ceremonies every night.

Ten thousand flames light up the moat around the tower, marking 100 years since the end of the war. The ceremony takes place daily from 5-9m up to and including Remembrance Sunday.

Today, we remember all those who lost their lives.

Images via Getty/Royal British Legion