I was inspired to post this after reading on Celebitchy (I know, ok? I know!) that the writer had "forgotten" that Veterans' Day isn't just an American holiday. (The post is here I can't bear to post it).
I wanted to share this, as I know that we have both forces personnel and families who are members here.
I thought that it might be interesting to share what happens in different countries to remember, especially since we are still "losing" folks, friends, family, neighbours.
Growing up, we lived opposite the village War Memorial, so my enduring memory is of being woken up on my birthday with a brass band playing hymns as the outdoor service began.
As I've grown older, I've realised that as a descendant of Krakow Jews, that I might not even exist but for the sacrifices that were made by a generation.
Here is the Wikipedia definition of Remembrance Day (as its called in the UK).[quote]
In the United Kingdom, Remembrance Sunday is held on the second Sunday in November, which is the Sunday nearest to 11 November Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of hostilities in the First World War at 11 a.m. in 1918. Remembrance Sunday is held "to commemorate the contribution of British and Commonwealth military and civilian servicemen and women in the two World Wars and later conflicts".
.[/quoteLest we forget: Britain remembers its fallen heroes
Remembrance Sunday events were being held across the country today in tribute to members of Britain and the Commonwealth's Armed Forces who have died during conflicts.
11:15AM GMT 11 Nov 2012
The Queen attended a service at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, where she laid a wreath in memory of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
She was joined by host of senior royals, Prime Minister David Cameron and leaders of opposition parties for the service, a focal point of the nation's Remembrance Sunday ceremonies.
The Queen lays a wreath during Remembrance Sunday
The first stroke of Big Ben at 11am and the firing of a gun from Horse Guards Parade by The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery marked the start of two minutes' silence, which was followed by The Last Post, sounded by the Buglers of the Royal Marines. The Queen laid the first wreath, followed by the Duke of Edinburgh, the Duke of Cambridge, the Duke of York, the Earl of Wessex, the Princess Royal, Prince Michael of Kent and Field Marshal Lord Guthrie of Craigiebank.
David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband stand in front of former prime ministers John Major and Tony Blair
The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall are unable to attend as they are in New Zealand on a Jubilee tour.
Also paying their respects were Mr Cameron, Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg, opposition leader Ed Miliband and Westminster Plaid Cymru group leader Elfyn Llywd, as well as high commissioners from Commonwealth countries and leaders of the Armed Forces.
The Queen and Prince Philip during the service
Thousands of veterans will also march through Whitehall to pay their respects at the Cenotaph.
Last night Rod Stewart performed for the Queen at the Festival of Remembrance in honour of Britain's war dead.
The Queen was joined by the Duke of Edinburgh for the televised event at the Royal Albert Hall, which was watched by thousands - including the Prime Minister and his wife Samantha, and Labour leader Ed Miliband and his wife Justine.
Veterans from Royal Hospital Chelsea arrive at Horse Guards Parade, central London
Stewart appeared alongside Alexandra Burke, Russell Watson and the Military Wives choir, who performed with former X Factor contestant Jonjo Kerr, who is a private with the 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment.
Olympians Heather Stanning, Pete Reed and Paralympian Derek Derenalagi also appeared.
Sophie, Countess of Wessex and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge during the service
As the choir and Kerr sang, images from soldiers' personal family albums were beamed on to two big screens.
The Royal British Legion staged the festival, which included the traditional two-minute silence as poppy petals fall from the roof of the Royal Albert Hall, each representing a life lost in war.
David Cameron lays a wreath during the service
The event, which had an audience of veterans and their families, was intended as a moving tribute to the country's fallen.
Crowds look towards Trafalgar Square on Remembrance Sunday
The crowds watching the service in central London could be the largest yet, the Royal British Legion said.
The charity's head of remembrance, Helen Hill, said that numbers were swollen as recent conflicts brought the realities of war home to a new generation and created "people who are aged 18-and-a-half who are veterans of recent conflicts".
"Once again the British public has shown its support," she said, adding that the number of veterans marching had increased by 3,000 in the last five years.
"The numbers are going up, not down. There are an increasing number of associations looking after the veteran community. More and more people want to participate in the activities."
Corporal of Horse Alistair Grice, from the Blues and Royals Household Cavalry Regiment, said: "It's a day of remembering and a celebration of what we have got and what we are fortunate to have."
The 35-year-old, from from Coppull in Lancashire, who served in conflicts from Bosnia onwards said he would be remembering comrades from his unit including Trooper James Munday, who died in an explosion in Afghanistan on October 15 2008 and Lance Corporal Jonathan Woodgate, 26, who was killed on March 26, 2010.
Cpl Grice added: "It's amazing to see how many people, not just British but foreign as well, who are here to support the British Armed Forces and what we have done in the past.
"What has made it such a special day is that everybody just comes out. If you look at the social websites and the TV and everyone is remembering us."
Sergeant James Stavropoulos from The Queen's Colour Squadron of the RAF Regiment, was also at the Cenotaph.
The 21-year-old, originally from Uttoxeter in Staffordshire, said he enjoyed being at the focal point of the Remembrance two-minute silence and thought that the ceremony meant more for a younger generation.
"Before you were remembering the old whereas now people are remembering recent conflicts which have been going on for the last decade or so. It has hit home to a nation, I think, that this is still going on," he said.
Royal Navy Lieutenant Commander Lee Blackburn said that Remembrance always made him think of those lucky to still be alive.
The 39-year-old, based in Portsmouth but originally from Halifax, West Yorkshire, said: "Early in my training a very wise senior officer who had served in the Falklands said a very good line to me, which was 'when you are out there and actually in the thick of it, in harms way, you are not doing it for your leafy cottage on the Cotswolds or your nice car on the drive. You are actually doing it because you want the respect of those around you'.
"I try to keep that in mind anyway but I think today always brings that to the forefront of my mind at least."
British troops in Afghanistan marked Remembrance Sunday with a simple ceremony at their headquarters in Lashkar Gah.
Around 150 personnel from the army, navy and Royal Air Force marked the two-minute silence at 11am local time and a bugler sounded The Last Post before a piper from The Royal Dragoon Guards played a traditional lament.
They were joined by coalition representatives from the USA, Denmark, Estonia and Bosnia as well as senior officers from the Afghan National Security Forces
Lest we forget: Britain remembers its fallen heroes - Telegraph
11 November 2012 Last updated at 16:50
Remembrance Sunday: UK's wartime fallen commemorated
A two-minute silence was held at the Cenotaph to remember those who have died in armed conflicts
A two-minute silence has been held to remember members of the British and Commonwealth's armed forces who have died during conflicts.
The Queen was joined by several members of the Royal Family at the Cenotaph for Remembrance Sunday.
The country observed a two-minute silence as Big Ben struck the eleventh hour.
British forces across the world - including 9,500 soldiers in Afghanistan - also stood silent to remember.
The Queen laid a wreath, followed by the Duke of Edinburgh and the Duke of Cambridge.
The former chief of the defence staff, Lord Guthrie, laid a wreath on behalf of the Prince of Wales, who is in Auckland, New Zealand.
The Queen led dignitaries in honouring the UK's war dead at the Cenotaph
British Foreign Secretary William Hague laid a wreath on behalf of all those in the armed forces across the commonwealth who have fallen.
Veterans' representatives laid wreaths at the Cenotaph before nearly 10,000 ex-servicemen and women marched past to commemorate their fallen comrades.
This year's commemoration is the first to take place since the death of the last veteran to serve during World War I on either side, according to the Royal British Legion.
There was warm applause from the crowd as the parade marched past the war memorial, inscribed to The Glorious Dead.
The Royal British Legion's head of remembrance, Helen Hill, said the number of veterans marching had increased by 3,000 in the past five years.
"The numbers are going up, not down. There are an increasing number of associations looking after the veteran community. More and more people want to participate in the activities," she said.
Other remembrance events were held across the UK:
- A special remembrance wreath, made up of 355 poppies, was laid in the Wiltshire town of Royal Wootton Bassett, which has become famous for its role in the repatriation of military personnel killed in war
- A memorial service was held in Worcestershire for Canadian airmen who were killed in a plane crash on 9 November 1943
- In Staffordshire, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester represented the Queen at a service held at the National Memorial Arboretum
- And members of of the Whitstable Royal British Legion laid a wreath on the unmarked graves of two German airmen who were shot down over Kent in World War II.
British servicemen and women in Helmand Province were able to attend services at remote patrol bases or checkpoints.
At the scene
Angus Crawford BBC News
The air was cold and clear, the sky a cobalt blue and Whitehall with the Cenotaph at its heart was lined with the ranks of those who serve and those who once served.
Watching from behind the barriers around the MoD, a solitary figure pausing from his duties talking to the media. His silhouette against the sunlight throwing into sharp relief the dark metal of his prosthetic legs, lost in a roadside explosion in Afghanistan five years ago.
The two minutes silence was immaculately observed, the only thing to break the quiet the crying of gulls wheeling in the air.
The wreaths were placed gently around the base of the cenotaph and then the march past.
A glittering parade of polish and steel, of khaki, blue and black - Royal Marines and Gurkhas, Submariners and Gunners and many more in uniform.
Then thousands of veterans, men and women in civilian clothes, but with medals on their chests and cap badges gleaming on berets.
On each lapel a splash of colour, a Poppy, the symbol of remembrance, of sacrifice and thanksgiving.
Lt-Col Zac Stenning, a serving soldier, attended the Remembrance service in London for the first time.
He told BBC News he was "immensely struck by both the dignity and pride and the solemnity of the service".
He added he had lost 10 men from his Army unit in the last six months in Afghanistan, and this in particular made this Sunday an important day.
"It is that single day in the year when we stand together and as a nation we remember the commitment of our men and women of the armed forces not only as soldiers today but of the past."
Corporal of Horse Alistair Grice, from the Blues and Royals Household Cavalry Regiment, said it was a "day of remembering and a celebration of what we have and what we are fortunate to have".
The 35-year-old, from Coppull in Lancashire, who served in conflicts from Bosnia onwards said he would be remembering comrades from his unit including Trooper James Munday, who died in an explosion in Afghanistan on 15 October 2008 and Lance Corporal Jonathan Woodgate, 26, who was killed on 26 March 2010.
The number of veterans marching has increased by 3,000 in the last five years
Cpl Grice added: "It's amazing to see how many people, not just British but foreign as well, who are here to support the British Armed Forces and what we have done in the past."
This year, Remembrance Sunday falls on 11 November itself, the date of the armistice which brought World War I to an end.
The prime minister of the Republic of Ireland and his deputy took part in Remembrance Sunday services in Northern Ireland.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny was in Enniskillen and Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore was in Belfast, where First Minister Peter Robinson and Secretary of State Theresa Villiers led the wreath laying.
Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones led Wales in its Remembrance Sunday commemorations in Cardiff.
Meanwhile, First Minister Alex Salmond paid tribute to the courage and commitment of Scotland's servicemen and women in Edinburgh.
BBC News - Remembrance Sunday: UK's wartime fallen commemorated
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11 NOVEMBER 2012, BIRMINGHAM & BLACK COUNTRY
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- Are you wearing a handmade poppy?
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11 November 2012 Last updated at 10:54
Remembrance Day on the front line
By Caroline Wyatt Defence correspondent, BBC News
Corporal Kirk Buck planned a vigil for three men from his regiment who died
Under the hot Afghan winter sun, a bugler sounded the Last Post, ahead of a profound two-minute silence at the British headquarters in Lashkar Gah.
The servicemen and women here stood lost in thought, before the bugler sounded the reveille.
For those working and fighting here, this Remembrance Day is a very personal act of remembering the sacrifices made in war.
Though many of those gathered here are only in their twenties, many have already lost friends and comrades in Afghanistan, and before that in Iraq, giving the silence here a deeper resonance.
British servicemen and women on operations in Helmand work a seven-day week, and Sunday is no different. But most will be able to attend a service at even the remotest patrol bases or checkpoints across the province at different times of day, or if on guard, stand in silence as they watch over their colleagues.
So far this year, 43 British troops have died in Afghanistan - five of them from the current brigade.
The men and women of the Royal Marines' group have lost four of their comrades on this tour to insider attacks in the past month: Corporal Dave O'Connor, Corporal Channing Day, Lieutenant Edward Drummond-Baxter and Lance Corporal Siddhanta Kunwar.
I lost a lot of good friends on Operation Telic 1 in Iraq, as well as on Operation Herrick in Afghanistan. The important part is that it hasn't been done in vain, and the progress that has been made in central Helmand is testament to their efforts.”Lieutenant Colonel Matt Jackson Commanding Officer of 40 Commando Royal Marines
Lieutenant Colonel Matt Jackson, Commanding Officer of 40 Commando Royal Marines, says that for himself and his men, this Sunday is both a personal and a collective act of remembrance.
"Overall, the Royal Marines have taken a number of fatalities in Afghanistan: 61 since the campaign began, a number of friends among them," he said.
"For the personal part, I lost a lot of good friends on Operation Telic 1 in Iraq, as well as on Operation Herrick in Afghanistan. The important part is that it hasn't been done in vain, and the progress that has been made in central Helmand is testament to their efforts."
But the Royal Marines will only have time to mourn properly when they return home, at the end of their tour. Here in Helmand, Lt Col Jackson said there was still a job to be done working closely alongside the Afghan police and Army to mentor them - and continuing to trust them, despite the insider attacks.
"It is hard. I'd be lying if I said that it wasn't," he said. "And obviously, the last few weeks have been ones in which emotions have been quite raw. But 40 Commando are driving forward with the mission, and we'll do the mourning when we get home to Norton Manor."
At the age of 27, Corporal Kirk Buck from The Royal Dragoon Guards will be thinking of the three men from his regiment who died on their previous tour here.
Trooper Thomas Kingston will be thinking about friends he lost on Operation Herrick 12
"We'll be having a vigil, and it means a lot for me to mark it out here. I think it's nice to do it with family and friends, but out here it's with colleagues from the Army, the Royal Navy and the RAF. It is everyone combined together like a family," he says.
"I think it's really important for people to remember what sacrifices people have made for this country."
His comrade, 21-year old Trooper Thomas Kingston, agrees. "It matters a lot, knowing people in the UK are remembering. It shows you that people at home care, and they're grateful for people laying down their lives out here.
"I'll be thinking about friends I lost on Operation Herrick 12. They're the ones that'll be in my mind."
He continues: "I suppose you don't deal with it on operations, and it doesn't sink in straight away - you're so busy. It's only afterwards. You have got to carry on with the job and deal with it together. You don't get over it, though - you get through it. "
At another of the main bases, Padre Paul Andrew, the Naval Chaplain, is holding a service during which the roll of honour will be read. For him, marking Remembrance Day in Helmand brings an added immediacy.
We think back to the people who fought and who have died and suffered sacrifices in times past and we think of what's going on today here in Helmand, and the sacrifices which, unfortunately, we're still making.”Padre Dowell Conning Senior chaplain
"I think it is different out here. The sad reality is that there will be people coming together who have lost friends and comrades weeks or maybe even days ago and that sharpens that sense of remembrance," he admits.
"If you'd asked me a few years ago, this Sunday would have been about remembering the people we lost years and years ago, but now it is about remembering people I have served with. It means so many things - primarily about the fact that people are prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice for their friends and for their country. "
At the British headquarters in Lashkar Gah, the senior chaplain Padre Dowell Conning conducted the main service of remembrance. In his small, tented chapel is a prayer wall, onto which soldiers can pin their individual thoughts and prayers. Many of those prayers on it are in memory of Corporal Channing Day and Corporal David O'Connor, killed here in October in a suspected insider attack.
"I think being here makes today very poignant," says Mr Conning.
"We think back to the people who fought and who have died and suffered sacrifices in times past and we think of what's going on today here in Helmand, and the sacrifices which, unfortunately, we're still making. And we think of our friends, families and loved ones at home, standing and waiting for our safe return. "
'Soldiers' morale' Representatives from five nations, including Afghan generals and others, joined British troops in Lashkar Gah for Sunday's service.
They were also joined by the deputy commander of Nato's Isaf mission in Afghanistan, Lt General Nick Carter, and from London by the Minister for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans, Mark Francois.
The Commander of Task Force Helmand, Brigadier Bob Bruce, gave one of the readings from the Book of Wisdom.
"Remembrance Day is always very important to us in the military anyway, but I think it's particularly poignant when we're deployed on operations," he says.
"Knowing those in the UK are also remembering is enormously important for us, and a fundamental part of soldiers' morale is the understanding that there is support for us back home. "
BBC News - Remembrance Day on the front line