This article was written on an older version of FileFront / GameFront
Formatting may be lacking as a result. If this article is un-readable please report it so that we may fix it.
15 years ago
, last updated
4 years ago
Across the nation, more than 45 million people - in airports and buses, in law courts and football clubs, at railway stations and banks, radio and television stations, in superstores, schools and colleges and those at home - are expected to fall silent for two minutes at 11am on Armistice Day, Saturday 11th November.
The Two Minute Silence marks the moment the guns fell silent at the end of the First World War - the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918. It is a moment to remember all those who have given their lives for their country in the conflicts of the last century and in the early years of this new millennium.
The Royal British Legion, which has long campaigned to have the Silence reinstated in the national calendar, is delighted that what is by far the biggest annual spontaneous demonstration of public support for any cause in the country will continue this year.
"We are proud to have led a strong resurgence in observance of the Two Minute Silence over the last nine years," says Stuart Gendall, the Legionâ€™s Director of Corporate Communications. "This small yet significant individual and collective act is a rare moment when the Nation can stand together and reflect on the price of freedom. We know there is strong support for the Silence and Remembrance. Independent research we commissioned in September this year shows that 90 per cent of adults think that Remembrance events and observing the Two Minute Silence should be an important and permanent feature in the life of the nation.
"Eighty-Eight per cent of those in the 16 to 24 age bracket agreed with this sentiment - demonstrating that Remembrance is felt to be as important by younger people as by the older generations. It suggests strong support for Remembrance in the future."
Local Authorities, Leading Companies and Broadcasters join the Silence
More than 100 major companies will join the nationwide silence by encouraging staff and visitors to take part. They include such household names as: ASDA, British Airways, Cadbury Schweppes, Dixons Group, Eurotunnel, Friends Provident, GlaxoSmithKine, HSBC Holdings, IMI plc, Jarvis Hotels, Kingfisher plc, Lloyds TSB Group, Manchester United, Network Rail, Orange PCS, Pilkington plc, Royal Mail Group, Sainsbury Group, Tesco plc, WH Smith, Yorkshire Building Society and Zurich Financial Services.
Nearly 300 local authorities throughout the land have declared their support for the Two Minute Silence. Councils throughout the United Kingdom - from Basildon to Barrow in Furness and from Peterborough to Penwith - will be halting meetings. And, many will signal the start and end of the Silence by firing maroon rockets, by bugle call, by sounding fire alarms and by making announcements over their public address systems.
The BBC will lead the way across both television and radio, providing the cue for silent reflection, wherever people may be, as time signals sound 11 oâ€™clock. Independent television and radio networks the length and breadth of the country will also be marking the Silence.
Ian Townsend, Secretary General of The Royal British Legion, said: "We are very pleased so many people consider that the 11th November and the Two Minute Silence to be important both personally and nationally. As the nationâ€™s de facto custodian of Remembrance, we will always support the traditional Remembrance Sunday services and silences. But we believe that when 11th November falls on days other than Remembrance Sunday, Remembrance should be brought into the everyday life of the nation on those days as well. The Two Minute Silence is a moving annual moment of reflection in our otherwise busy lives which allows us to remember the high price paid for the freedoms we enjoy today."