What do you know about poppies?
The poppy began with the poem “In Flanders Fields” by Canadian John McRae in 1915:
“In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.”
Referring to poppies as the first flowers to grow in the fields of soldier’s graves in Flanders, Belgium.
It has since symbolised the sacrifice made by soldiers in wars since then. Since 1921, the Royal British Legion have used the poppy as a symbol for the Poppy Appeal, which aims to aid soldiers of the British Armed Forces.
Also known as Armistice Day, it marks the armistice between the Allies and Germany on the 11th hour of the 11th of November in 1918. It allowed the exchange of prisoners, a promise of reparations and the termination of hostilities between the two sides. Although the armistice ended fighting, WWI did not officially end until the 29th of June 1919.
The Service of Remembrance involves a two minute silence to remember all the people who have died in the wars.
The tradition of the Remembrance Day was inaugurated by King George V, who, on November 11 1919, requested that the public observe silence to remember fallen soldiers of WWI. Today, the anniversary commemorates people who have died in all wars.
DNA supports Walking With the Wounded, a charity established in 2010 that focuses on providing vulnerable veterans with support after their service, particularly in finding employment and housing.
Through organising events and runni programmes they are able to address the specific needs of veterans. For info on what you can do click here. To make a donation, click here, or for other ways to get involved read on.
Remembrance Day Events
Silence in the Square is held annually at Trafalgar Square. Hosted by Royal British Legion, there will be a two-minute silence, readings and music. The event runs from 10am to 11:15am on 11/11/16.
On Remembrance Sunday, the National Service of Remembrance will be held at the Cenotaph and Whitehall . The Queen, as well as Members of Parliament – past and present – the Mayor of London and representatives from the army, navy and air force will be present at the occasion.
The Imperial War Museum in Duxford is holding events on both Remembrance Day (11th November) and Remembrance Sunday (13th November). They are hosting a range of events, from poppy-making to a memorial trail, free to all visitors. For more information, visit the IWM site here.