Royal British Legion

The Royal British Legion is the UK's leading charity providing financial, social and emotional support to millions who have served and are currently serving in the Armed Forces, and their dependants. Currently, nearly 10.5 million people are eligible for our support and we receive thousands of calls for help every year.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Silence in the Square

On Rembrance morning in Trafalgar Square, thousands of people gathered to observe the Two Minute Silence.

The event, hosted by Ben Shephard, with music from the All Angels and a poem written by teenager Recbeeca, ended with the symbolic placing of poppy petals into the fountains.

Click here for photos


  • At 4:16 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I work for HM Revenue and Customs based at Heathrow and until last year I wasn’t aware that we did the stewarding. I was asked last year to help with the Remembrance Sunday and for some reason I couldn’t make it. Les Scriver asked me again this year and there was no way he would let me out of it 2 years in a row! This was the first time I was going to do it and I was very nervous, I kept asking him, what if I do something wrong or send someone to the wrong place. He kept saying, don’t worry, you will be fine!

    So the day came, my alarm went off at 5:45. I had to be at the train station at just after 7am, I was due to meet 3 of my colleagues on the train and we all went up to Waterloo. From Waterloo we walked over Westminster Bridge to Horse Guards Parade.

    Once we got to Horse Guards Parade, I was given the job of being in the control area with Leanne; it was our responsibility to direct anyone who was lost and to be a main focal point if anyone had any questions.

    As the time pasted by the area got busier and busier with more and more veterans of all ages and their families arriving. It was HMRC’s job to check the tickets of everyone arriving and to organise them into 5 rows on Horse Guards and 1 on Whitehall. We have to have everyone in his or her line and ready to leave Horse Guards by 10:15 exactly. It was amazing to watch at 10:10 when the atmosphere suddenly changed from people standing around and catching up with old comrades to a very serious and sombre atmosphere. Everyone was in line, in the correct place with the correct distance between them and standing to attention. You could still see the pride in their eyes. It was then that I realised just how much they had given up for me to have the freedoms that I know take for granted. It was a very emotional moment.

    At 10:15 they had the order to march out onto Whitehall ready for the service to commence, the Marines were leading the march, as it is the centenary year. I watched 1400 people walk past me, every one of them standing tall and very proud. Everyone has to be on Whitehall and stationery by 10:50 ready for the Queen to join and the service to commence.

    I was asked if I wanted to take part in the service and then the march. HMRC join at the end of the parade so that we can pay our respects on behalf of the department. At first I wasn’t sure, as I had never personally known anyone who had been killed but on the day I changed my mind and I am so pleased I did. Standing on Whitehall during the service and then watching as the Royal family and Ministers lay their reefs was moving. When we finally walked down Whitehall and past the Cenotaph it was a very strange feeling, I can’t describe it. At the Cenotaph you have to look to the left. There were so many people watching, clapping as you walk past, it was a very surreal experience. At the end of the march you look top the right as you walk past the Duke of Kent and then back into Horse Guards where the march finishes.

    The whole day has made me realise that if it weren’t for all these people I would never have the freedoms that I take for granted everyday. As for next year, I have already volunteered!


  • At 10:08 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Remembrance Sunday

    I felt honoured to be involved on this day. It made me feel proud to be in the presence of these veterans and their families, and to realise what they had given up for us. When you see them, it makes you see how proud they are. While I was there on Horse Guards, it made me feel infinitesimally small to be there and in the presence of those who have given up so much.

    The time I spent there were enjoyable, meeting new people and the humour some displayed, both from the veterans and those helping at the event. As a student, I had a great time, and would definitely go again, as the atmosphere was so filled with emotion, making this experience incredible and worthwhile going to.


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