They shall grow not old,
as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them,
nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun
and in the morning
We will remember them.
An extract from a poem written by Robert Laurence Binyon called “For the Fallen”.
11 11 11
On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month we observe a minute of prayer, where we remove our hats, and we bow our heads in reverence. We take a moment to silently contemplate and reflect those who served for our freedom. The Fallen. Those who lost their lives in the line of duty. Those who returned home forever changed. Those who remained at home. The sacrifices made. Remembrance Day is a mourning. A lament.
11 11 11. The silence coincides with the Armistice (Latin = to still arms) of 1918, the time chosen to begin a truce ending the fighting between allies and the last opponent Germany in World War 1. It intrigues and delights me such an auspicious and memorable time and date was chosen to lay down arms. Over the century past, many countries recognise this as a time to remember those who fought and lives lost.
Remembrance Day is also known as Poppy Day. During World War 1, millions of soldiers saw the poppies in Flanders fields and the poppy has become the recognised symbol of remembrance. I believe this icon of poppy infuses all those who witness it with the energetic opiate medicine of euphoric relief.
There is an invitation here with so many souls all falling into silence and an energy of reverence and remembering—a potent container—to expand too this gesture of regard and respect. To pay respect to the tragic events of war and the lives lost and changed. To reconsider our definition of war to include all conflicts using arms, and to remember our own experiences. For some, the arms may be words, and the war fought in the home. For some, the battle to stay afloat in business, in a price war. Weapons of thoughts, fought in our minds.
The most powerful remembrance is that this time honours peace—the agreement to end conflict.
I have set a permanent reminder in my calendar for Remembrance Day, just before 11am I put my phone on silent, and I stand in silent reverence, bow my head and I remember. What are you remembering?
In loving service