November is here and with it it brings those small red flowers to our local shops and young cadets collecting for the Poppy Appeal are becoming a regular site on our streets once again – here’s how you can get involved.
But why do we commemorate Remembrance Day?
Remembrance Day or Armistice Day has been commemorated since 1919 as an opportunity to think of those who sacrificed their lives in the First World War, a conflict described as the war to end all wars.
The day itself traditionally takes place on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month and marks when the guns fell silent in accordance with the armistice signed by Germany and the Entente – although the war did not officially end until the signing of the Treaty of Versailles a year later.
A two-minutes silence is traditionally observed and has been since King George V first urged the public in 1919. He said the silence would allow the “thoughts of everyone to be concentrated on reverent remembrance of the glorious dead”.
The poppy has become a symbol of the day due largely to the poem, ‘In Flanders Fields’, by Canadian soldier, John McCrae. These flowers began to bloom in Flanders even after all the destruction and the vibrant red plant became a symbol of hope.
How can you get involved in Remembrance Day?
This year, the Royal British Legion is asking people to ‘Remember Together’ – for communities across Britain to come together, join together and remember together the service and sacrifice, friendship and collaboration of the men and women of Britain, the Commonwealth and Allied nations who fought together 75 years ago.
There are many different events that you can get involved in to show your support on Remembrance Day. You can find events here.
Launched 2014 with the huge poppy display at the Tower of London, and running until 2018, the Royal British Legion is participating in a number of projects to remember the war to end all wars.
How does wearing a poppy help?
Wearing a poppy is not just a symbol of remembrance. By wearing a poppy, you are contributing a donation to the Poppy Appeal, which raises money for those currently serving in the Armed Forces, veterans and their families and dependants.
To find out more about Remembrance events and the Poppy Appeal, visiting the Royal British Legion here.