It is a long time since I have been to a British Remembrance Day. Poppies have been on sale for the past month, sold by The Royal British Legion as a
symbol of remembrance of Britain's war dead...The whole Country seems to participate, even cars can be seen around wearing their poppy....
Remembrance Day was a declining tradition, but in recent years there has been a resurgence of interest, as the Country also remembers casualties from recent wars. Britain sadly sees soldier after soldier return home having lost their lives serving in Afghanistan, so far in 2012 there have been 377 coalition casualties.
The annual tradition, to acknowledge the fallen on the 11th minute of the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month, dates from the exact time ‘some 94 years ago’ when an armistice was signed between the German and Allied Forces bringing an end to World War I.
Today we gather at St Helen's church in the pretty village of Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire for the annual Rememberance Day parade. As we walk towards the Church we are passed by children in their Cub Scouts uniforms scampering down the street to join in. "Excuse me..." says a small child with a large flag rushing past...There is a big crowd of people...
As the Parade gathers the Police close the road. The long line of marchers is mostly made up from children from the various scouting groups but is headed up by the Women's Institute accompanied by a couple of ex service men with their medals, followed by the Firemen and other local dignitaries.
The Parade halts at the war memorial outside the Church, and poppy wreaths are laid in solemn silence, one by one. Each acknowledged by those laying the wreath with a step back and either a bow or a salute at the foot of the stone cross. The children with their posies are accompanied by two attendants do the same. The whole village falls silent as the bugler plays the haunting notes of the last post.
At the going down of the sun,
and in the morning,
we will remember them
Little Wandering Wren
Location:Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire, UK