During November you might have seen some important British sportspeople and celebrities wearing a bright red poppy on their lapel.
If you are not British it is quite easy to wonder why that is. The poppy is a symbol that has its roots in World War I (1914-1918). In 1920, British Prime Minister David Lloyd George asked for "a flower that should be worn with pride by every Englishman." He then introduced the poppy as a symbol of remembrance.
Each year since then, millions of people across the globe have worn poppies in honour of those who were killed during the war. And the appreciation for the fallen peaks on the Sunday closest to 11 November (Remembrance Sunday), which this year falls on Sunday the 13th of November.
The London Remembrance Day Celebration is a great opportunity to visit London and see the city in a different light.
There are multiple events that take place in recognition and appreciation of the sacrifice of those who have fallen but the by far most spectacular is the Remembrance Parade.
This event includes a parade at 11 am, starting from Whitehall, where all the dignitaries present will file past the Cenotaph and lay wreaths at its base. The parade continues through The Mall and ends at Buckingham Palace where the King lays a wreath at the Cenotaph before moving on to St James' Church for the service of remembrance.
This memorial service is run by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, which moves its headquarters to the church during the week of remembrance.
The service begins with a roll call and then progresses through a series of speeches by dignitaries, including members of parliament and representatives from all three armed forces. Each speaker has five minutes to speak before another speaker takes over. A bugler plays three notes when it is time for each speaker to speak, representing "Men of England" and "Remember." The bugler can be heard throughout the entire ceremony playing these notes. Each speaker takes turns speaking until everyone has had their turn at least once.
The ceremony ends with Lord Mayor's Standard being presented to the reigning monarch by an adjutant-general or head of the armed forces for presentation to His Majesty as Commander-in-Chief of The Armed Forces
To enjoy the events of this day fully, it's necessary to start early and arrive early as well. If you have plans for lunch or dinner during this time, it would be wise to make sure that these are completed before attending this event.
Remembrance day is a time to remember and honour the fallen. It's a day to reflect on what we've lost, and how much each of us has been affected by events of the war. That means that while it is a celebration of the fallen it is a good idea to be respectful and mindful of the emotional state of some of the other attendees.