The first stroke of eleven produced a magical effect. The tram cars glided into stillness, motors ceased to cough and fume, and stopped dead, and the mighty-limbed dray horses hunched back upon their loads and stopped also, seeming to do it of their own volition. Someone took off his hat, and with a nervous hesitancy the rest of the men bowed their heads also. Here and there an old soldier could be detected slipping unconsciously into the posture of 'attention'. An elderly woman, not far away, wiped her eyes, and the man beside her looked white and stern. Everyone stood very still ... The hush deepened. It had spread over the whole city and become so pronounced as to impress one with a sense of audibility. It was a silence which was almost pain ... And the spirit of memory brooded over it all.
10 พฤศจิกายน 2553
Remembrance Day (also known as Poppy Day, Armistice Day or Veterans Day) is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth countries to remember the sacrifices of members of the armed forces and civilians in times of war, specifically since the First World War. This day, or alternative dates, are also recognised as special days for war remembrances in many non-Commonwealth countries.
It is observed on 11 November to recall the official end of World War I on that date in 1918, as the major hostilities of World War I were formally ended "at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month" of 1918 with the German signing of the Armistice. (Note that "at the 11th hour", refers to the passing of the 11th hour, or 11:00 am.)
The day was specifically dedicated by King George V, on 7 November 1919, to the observance of members of the armed forces who were killed during World War I. This was possibly done upon the suggestion of Edward George Honey to Wellesley Tudor Pole, who established two ceremonial periods of remembrance based on events in 1917.
The poppy has become a familiar emblem of Remembrance Day due to the poem In Flanders Fields. The brilliant red poppies bloomed across some of the worst battlefields of Flanders in World War I, their red colour an appropriate symbol for the blood spilt in the war.
"Remembrance Day" is the primary designation for the day in many Commonwealth countries such as the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada. However, "Armistice Day" (the event it commemorates) also remains, often to differentiate the event from Remembrance Sunday, and is the primary designation used in New Zealand and France.
"Poppy Day" is also a popular term used, particularly in Malta and South Africa. Veterans Day also falls upon this day in the United States, yet many other allied nations have quite different Veterans Days.
The common British, Canadian, South African, and ANZAC tradition includes either one or two minutes of silence at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month (11:00 am, 11 November), as that marks the time (in the United Kingdom) when armistice became effective.
The Service of Remembrance in many Commonwealth countries generally includes the sounding of the "Last Post", followed by the period of silence, followed by the sounding of "The Rouse" (often mistakenly referred to as "Reveille"), and finished by a recitation of the "Ode of Remembrance". The "Flowers of the Forest", "O Valiant Hearts", "I Vow to Thee, My Country" and "Jerusalem" are often played during the service. Services also include wreaths laid to honour the fallen, a blessing, and national anthems. Mozambique does not observe the Remembrance Day.
In the United Kingdom, although two minutes of silence are observed on 11 November itself, the main observance is on the second Sunday of November, Remembrance Sunday. Ceremonies are held at local war memorials, usually organised by local branches of the Royal British Legion – an association for ex-servicemen. Typically, poppy wreaths are laid by representatives of the Crown, the armed forces, and local civic leaders, as well as by local organisations including ex-servicemen organisations, cadet forces, the Scouts, Guides, Boys' Brigade, St John Ambulance and the Salvation Army. The start and end of the silence is often also marked by the firing of a cannon. A minute's or two minutes' silence is also frequently incorporated into church services. Further wreath-laying ceremonies are observed at most war memorials across the UK at 11 am on the 11th of November, led by the Royal British Legion. The beginning and end of the two minutes silence is often marked in large towns and cities by the firing of ceremonial cannon and many employers, and businesses invite their staff and customers to observe the two minutes silence at 11:00 am.
The First Two Minute Silence in London (11 November 1919) was reported in the Manchester Guardian on 12 November 1919:
The main national commemoration is held at Whitehall, in Central London, for dignitaries, the public, and ceremonial detachments from the armed forces and civilian uniformed services such as the Merchant Navy, Her Majesty's Coastguard, etc. Members of the British Royal Family walk through the Foreign and Commonwealth Office towards the Cenotaph, assembling to the right of the monument to wait for Big Ben to strike 11:00 am, and for the King's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery at Horse Guards Parade, to fire the cannon marking the commencement of the two minutes of silence. Following this, "Last Post" is sounded by the buglers of the Royal Marines. "The Rouse" is then sounded by the trumpeters of the Royal Air Force, after which wreaths are laid by the Queen and senior members of the Royal Family attending in military uniform and then, to "Beethoven's Funeral March" (composed by Johann Heinrich Walch), attendees in the following order: the Prime Minister; the leaders of the major political parties from all parts of the United Kingdom; Commonwealth High Commissioners to London, on behalf of their respective nations; the Foreign Secretary, on behalf of the British Dependencies; the First Sea Lord; the Chief of the General Staff; the Chief of the Air Staff; representatives of the merchant navy and Fishing Fleets and the merchant air service. Other members of the Royal Family usually watch the service from the balcony of the Foreign Office. The service is generally conducted by the Bishop of London, with a choir from the Chapels Royal, in the presence of representatives of all major faiths in the United Kingdom. Before the marching commences, the members of the Royal Family and public sing the national anthem before the Royal Delegation lead out after the main service.
Members of the Reserve Forces and cadet organisations join in with the marching, alongside volunteers from St John Ambulance, paramedics from the London Ambulance Service, and conflict veterans from World War II, the Falklands, Kosovo, Bosnia, Northern Ireland, other past conflicts and the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan. The last three British-resident veterans of World War I, Bill Stone, Henry Allingham, and Harry Patch, attended the 2008 ceremony but all died in 2009. After the service, there is a parade of veterans, who also lay wreaths at the foot of the Cenotaph as they pass, and a salute is taken by a member of the Royal Family at Horse Guards Parade.
In the United Kingdom, Armed Forces' Day (formerly Veterans' Day) is a separate commemoration, celebrated for the first time on 27 June 2009.
In England, Wales, and Northern Ireland the poppies are mostly paper representatives of the flat Earl Haig variety with a leaf, mounted on a plastic stem. These are the ones vigorously sold on the streets by volunteers in the weeks before Remembrance Day. Wearers require a separate pin to attach the poppy to their clothing. There are also some double red poppies, and also white poppies which are worn as a hope for peace. These are primarily sold by the Peace Pledge Union but some people make their own as they are harder to find. Some members of the public will wear both a red and a white poppy, but usually it is one or the other. In Scotland the poppies are curled and have four petals with no leaf and are sold by Poppyscotland. In Northern Ireland, because of the perception that the poppy honours soldiers of the British Armed Forces and because of The Troubles, it is worn primarily by members of the Unionist and the Protestant community.