Armistice Day

This Sunday morning I was, alas, in the office, catching up. But I left the BBC (Radio 4) on and so was well aware when the eleventh hour, UK time, of the eleventh day of the eleventh month came. When Big Ben’s bells had sounded and the first canon shot was fired I instinctively stood to honour the two minutes’ silence and did not sit down again until the canon fired again to mark the end of the silence. This instinct was inculcated into me when I was young. Indeed, when I was a kid drivers would pull over to the side of the road and stop to mark the two minutes. That doesn’t happen now, but I heard that Twitterers in their thousands stopped their tweets and, of course, in various other ways the war dead of Europe’s conflicts were honoured. For the two minutes I chose to stand by my office window, where I could gaze out and down on the flags of the EU’s member states. We are living the solution to what went before, to such an extent that what went before is now unthinkable as a possible future scenario. That, in itself, is a massive achievement and reason enough to stand and reflect for two minutes.

1 Comment

  1. Hugo Kijne

    Working for the United States Open University, an affiliate of the OU, I spent 11/11/2000 in Milton Keynes for a training program and experienced that great tradition for the first time. May we never forget.

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