Today the nation fell silent for two minutes at 11am in remembrance of the nation’s war dead.
And while many of us wear poppies on November 11th, we may not full understand what for.
So what exactly is Armistice Day?
Held on November 11 every year, the day commemorates the signing of the armistice between the Allies and Germany at 11am on 11 November 1918. It marks the moment the fighting of the First World War ended, and the occasion became known as Armistice Day.
A celebration was held a year later at Buckingham Palace, with King George V hosting a ‘Banquet in Honour of The President of the French Republic’, with the first official Armistice Day events held on the morning of 11 November 1919.
Remembrance Sunday, when official ceremonies take place across the country, happens on the first Sunday after Armistice Day.
Every year, both days are marked in the UK and other parts of the Commonwealth a by two minutes silence at 11am – which actually came from the idea of an Australian journalist, who proposed we all stand silent for five minutes to remember the war dead. His proposal was seen by King George V, who approved of the idea, but shortened it to two minutes.
What about poppies? It’s all thanks to Canadian Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, or really, thanks to Flanders Fields.
In 1915, Lt Col McCrae wrote the poem In Flanders Fields after the death of a friend. In it, he wrote how poppies grew in great numbers on the battlefields of France.
Their use as a symbol was popularised to remember and the practice spread in Europe. Now, they’re sold by the Royal British Legion, raising money for service people and their families.
If you want to buy one, they’re available at major supermarket chains, train stations and high street stores. Failing that, they’re available from the RBL website for a £1 suggested donation.
Lest we forget.