Every year the entire country stops to remember those who bravely gave their lives in the two world wars – indeed all who have died for their country ever since. The climax of this remembrance event is the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. A time which resonates deep within the countries culture and spirit.
This is universally known as Armistice Day – the day when after four long years of constant battle and war during World War One the guns lined along the Western Front ceased and fell silent. For many, this symbolises the end of the war and the beginning of an age of peace and freedom.
Across the world people observe a two minute silence every 11th November at 11am. In 2018 this is especially poignant as it marks 100 years since the end of the First World War.
Big Ben, who has fallen silent for the last year as she undergoes extensive restoration work, will ring once more to mark this historic moment. On Thames river trips across the water we will stop to remember those who died for our freedom.
The river will hold its annual Armistice Day commemorations led by the vessel Havengore. This is the vessel which carried Winston Churchill’s coffin during his funeral procession, and is a sobering reminder of the Second World War.
This year Thames Rockets will be involved in the river procession following the Havengore as it winds its way from Tower Bridge past the London Eye to Parliament for the ceremony and poppy wreath laying in the Thames. It has been a privilege every year to be involved in the procession with this year’s 100 anniversary being no exception.
The Queen will, as always, be in attendance at the nearby Cenotaph in Whitehall for the Remembrance Sunday Service.
Whatever your plans are on 11/11/18, be sure to spend two minutes to reflect when Big Ben breaks her silence at 11am.