November 12, 2006

Remembrance Day

Today was Remembrance Day and across the country wreaths were laid and ceremonies held to remember the people that lost their lives in wars throughout history. With the main focus on World War 1 and World War 11.

Odiham held a traditional ceremony with wreaths laid by RAF Odiham, The Royal British Legion, The Fire Brigade, The Parish Council, the Odiham Society, Guides and Scouts followed by a March along the High Street

Remembrance Day is held on November 11th to recognise the end of World War 1 on that day in 1918. The tradition of observing two minutes silence at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month marked the time that the armistice came into effect in Britain and the two minutes represent the two World Wars, prior to 1945 only one minutes silence was observed.

The poppy's significance to Remembrance Day is a result of Canadian military physician John McCrae's poem In Flanders Fields. The poppy emblem was chosen because of the poppies that bloomed across some of the worst battlefields of Flanders in World War I, their red colour an appropriate symbol for the bloodshed of trench warfare. Last year over 5000 veterans, servicemen and women and their families were helped by the support of the poppy appeal every month but there are still many more out there in need.

There was a record turnout for the ceremony in Odiham today, maybe not that surprising given the current terrorism threat and the present war situation and in conjunction with the Royal British Legion this was the second year that Odiham marked the start of the two minutes silence with the firing of maroons and a short ceremony at the War Memorial.

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