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Veterans Day


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Telegraph 11/11/05


Millions of people across Britain have marked Armistice Day with a Two Minute Silence to remember all those who have died in war.



Henry Allingham, 109, laid a wreath near Calais

The Two Minute Silence at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month represents the moment when the guns fell silent in November 1918 at the end of the First World War.


As Big Ben chimed at 11am, around 45 million people stopped what they were doing to honour those who have fought and perished for this country.


Towns and cities came to a standstill while businesses and schools paused to reflect.


Britain's oldest veteran, 109-year-old Henry Allingham, travelled to France to lay a wreath at the first permanent memorial to British air personnel who served on the Western Front.


He was accompanied by Air Vice Marshal Peter Dye, the RAF's deputy commander-in-chief and chief of staff, and a dozen aircraft engineer trainees from RAF Cosford, near Wolverhampton.


In the capital, the London Eye - filled with schoolchildren who are accompanying Second World War veteran Len Jeans - was illuminated in red and stopped moving as those inside pay their respects.


David Sharpe, from the London Eye, said: "Marking Armistice Day with a two minute silence is as important today as it has ever been."


Insurance brokers Lloyds of London rang the Lutine Bell to mark the start and end of the two minute silence.


The Last Post was played after the moment of reflection and the chairman of Lloyds, Lord Peter Levene, and a representative from the Royal British Legion laid two wreaths in the famous Underwriting Room.


Stuart Gendall, from The Royal British Legion, said: "The two minute silence is the single biggest annual demonstration of public support for any cause in the country.


"This small yet significant individual and collective act is a rare moment when the nation can stand together and reflect upon the price of freedom."


A ceremony also took place to honour the five million people from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Africa and the Caribbean who fought in both world wars.


Wreaths were laid at the Memorial Gates on Constitution Hill in London to mark 60 years since the end of the Second World War as well as Armistice Day.


Sir Ian Blair, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Field Marshal Sir John Chapple, who laid a wreath on behalf of Prince Charles and the Gurkhas, and Adam Ingram, the armed forces minister, attended.


Karan Bilimoria, founder and chief executive of Cobra Beer and chairman of the Memorial Gates Committee, said: "We will be forever grateful for their noble sacrifice.


"Their courage and fortitude are an inspiration for us and for generations ahead and they will always be remembered and recognised by this London landmark."


We will remember them. :lol:

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