WE WILL REMEMBER
At 11 o’clock on November 11 we will once more come together as a nation to remember all those who have given their lives in the service of our country. But this year, the National Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph will take on additional poignancy as it marks the moment a century ago when the guns finally fell silent on the Western Front.
Over the last four years of the Centenary, we have told the story of the First World War. We have encouraged people to come together to remember and give thanks for the service of a unique generation, to learn more about their stories and experiences and to improve our understanding of the impact of the war at home and across the world. In 2018, we have held commemorations to learn more about how the war concluded and the unfolding of the path to peace. It is now time for us to give thanks for that peace and for those who returned home to help build the world we live in today. Our commemorations for the Centenary of the Armistice will reflect not only the joy and relief that was felt throughout the country but also the uncertainty of the times ahead. As news of the Armistice spread in 1918, church bells which had fallen silent across the UK during the war, rang out in celebration. At 12:30 on November 11, 2018, as part of an initiative supported by the German Government, bells will start to ring out across the world as they did 100 years ago, joining nations together in replicating this moment of joy.
At the same time, in a moving display of gratitude to all those who served, 10,000 people will walk past the Cenotaph as part of a “A Nation’s Thank You - The People’s Procession” recognising the significance of the end of the First World War.
In the evening, Westminster Abbey will host our national commemoration to mark the centenary of the Armistice, reflecting with gratitude on the longed-for peace while recognising the challenges that faced our ancestors.
My own family played their part in the war effort 100 years ago and I am proud to honour them as we mark this important date. I hope that by coming together as a country in these important commemorations we can create a legacy that will see more people discover their own connections to the First World War. It is also important that we continue to remember this significant part of our history after this centenary period is over.
The four long years of war saw incredible bravery and heroism and this week, I hope we will all stand together to say ‘we will remember them’.
Join people from around the world and replicate the spontaneous outpouring of relief that took place at the end of the war in 1918 by ringingbells at 12.30pm on November 11