Why Do We Wear a Poppy?
Scarlet poppies grow wild all over Western Europe wherever the soil has been disturbed. The battles of the First World War churned up such vast areas of earth that millions of poppies germinated and bloomed, often around the bodies of the fallen soldiers.
A Canadian surgeon called John McRae wrote the poem In Flanders Fields in which the poppies symbolise the deaths of those who fought. It is a haunting memorial to those soldiers who have died in any war.
Why Do We Have a Two-Minute Silence?
It was on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month that the guns of World War I fell silent. Four years of fighting and devastation finally ended. The following year, ceremonies of remembrance took place on what was known as Armistice Day.
An Australian journalist, Edward George Honey first proposed a respectful silence to remember the dead. He wrote a letter to the London Evening News which was brought to the attention of King George V. The king then issued a proclamation which called for a two-minute silence.
These days, Armistice Day is known as Remembrance Sunday and is a chance to honour the fallen soldiers of all conflicts.