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Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Britons fall silent over war dead

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Millions of Britons have fallen silent to honour the war dead on the anniversary of Armistice Day.
Prime Minister David Cameron laid a wreath in South Korea, while ministers and royals attended various ceremonies in the UK.
As the clock struck 11am, people around the country wore their poppies with pride to take part in a two minute silence to mark the anniversary of Armistice Day, when peace returned to Europe at the end of the First World War.
The agreement between Germany and the Allies after four years of fighting took effect at the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” of 1918.
But an incident in London marred the solemn moment, when a small group of protesters styling themselves Muslims Against Crusades burned a model of a poppy. Relatives of British soldiers killed in Afghanistan condemned the action, which took place in Exhibition Road, Kensington, as “atrocious”.
Elsewhere, the usually raucous House of Commons also fell silent as MPs marked the occasion.
Mr Cameron placed a wreath at the site of the British Army’s bloodiest battle since the end of the Second World War – the Battle of the Imjin River from April 22 to 25 1951 during the Korean War. The Prime Minister – who was in South Korea for a summit of the G20 group of major economies – also took part in a Remembrance Day ceremony at the Korean National War Memorial in Seoul.
Meanwhile, Defence Secretary Liam Fox and the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams joined war heroes, veterans, military associations and schoolchildren for a service of remembrance at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, central London.
Crowds braved damp and windy conditions to line the street for the poignant service and wreath-laying ceremony organised by the Western Front Association, applauding Victoria and George Cross holders as they took their places around the monument. A bugler from the Scots Guards sounded the Last Post to mark the start of the silence, during which the chimes of Big Ben could be heard, ahead of the wreath-laying.
Wearing a beret and the medals of his great-great-uncle who lost his life in the Second World War, seven-year-old Jonny Osborne, from New Southgate, north London, placed a cross with poppies at the monument which read: “Thank you, not forgetting.”

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