November 11, Armistice Day or Remembrance Day.
A day that marks the end of the First World War and we as a nation mark it with 2 minutes silence to remember all of the brave soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.
Today is Remembrance Day, and on the eleventh hour of the eleventh month we fall silent for 2 minutes and remember those who fought and died for Britain. We mark our respects with Poppies, they commemorate those who died in the war, and at 11am schools, offices, churches and even leisure center's fall silent as we mark the time that the allied forces declared an end to fighting with Germany 97 years ago.
Today I arrived at the gym shortly before 11am, and a announcement was radioed out over the speakers all over the leisure centre to let everyone know that it was time to pay our respects. Everywhere went quiet. The music stopped. No one muttered a word, everyone around me stopped what they were doing, no one was exercising, no one was doing anything.
I was sat on the floor on my yoga mat. I lowered my head and thought about those who died so that we could live, and live in the freedom that we have grown accustomed to. The 2 minutes seemed to last a lifetime, and as I lifted my head to look around the room I felt proud to see that everyone was paying their respects.
I thought about Leo at school where he would be taking part in his very first Remembrance Day, I expect that they would have been in assembly at this time, the reception class having the nature of te day explained to them for one of the first times. The teachers letting them know the reasons behind falling silent. I think it is so important to teach our children to respect and remember. the war may have happened long before our generation...our children's generation, but can you imagine how different the world would be today if they hadn't fought for what they believed in? If they hadn't fought for our freedom? For Britain?
It's part of who we are. Some of us had Grandparents, Great Grandparents who fought. If they didn't go out to battle, they still have some incredible stories. My own Grandmother has spoken about her memories of what happened and how they lived through it. I think for young children hearing about these memories can be so valuable, it's one thing learning in schools, but when your direct family tell you their own personal accounts, the words and the history comes alive.
So today when I go and pick Leo up from school, I will be asking him what he has learned today just like I do everyday. Only today I will also be asking him about Remembrance Day and his 2 minute silence.