Friday, 11 November 2016

Armistice Day: Prince Harry Leads Tributes

Armistice Day has been marked with a 2 minute silence across the UK. Prince Harry lead the commemorations to remember those service men and women killed in action, at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.

The Prince joined hundreds of veterans and serving members of the armed forces for a military parade. Arboretum has been a national site of remembrance since 2001.

Elsewhere the first in line to the throne, the Prince of Wales will attend a service in Bahrain, where he'll lay a wreath and meet senior military representatives and UK veterans working in the Middle East.

It's an annual day of remembrance which marks the moment conflict stopped at the end of World War One, at 11am, on the 11th hour of the 11th month - November 11th 1918.

Why November 11?

  • The Allies and Germany signed an armistice in France at 5am on November 11 1918, six hours later, the conflict stopped
  • In 1919 King George V announced that a two-minute silence would be observed, the silence continues to be observed every year
The commemorations will continue on Sunday (Remembrance Sunday) with further ceremonies taking place across the country, including a gathering of senior political, Royal and military figures at the Cenotaph in London.

Controversy

This years Armistice has been met with controversy over footballers being allowed to wear poppy armbands during matches.

England face Scotland tonight in a World Cup Qualifier and FIFA have said this is forbidden due to their rules on "political statements".

Players have said they will go against the ban and wear the poppy armbands anyway, earlier this week at Prime Ministers Questions, Theresa May said the ban was "utterly outrageous".

The Football Associated of England and Scotland have said they will support the players and allow them to wear the armbands, despite it being considered a breach of the rules. The FA said they are willing to face punishment, though they have insisted it won't come to that.

So though it might make for a good headline, this "ban" isn't as extreme as it might seem, with punishment extremely unlikely.

Furthermore I would say that just as people should not be stopped from wearing poppies, neither should people be criticised or labelled selfish for not wearing one, it is a personal choice.

Last month journalists including The Mirror's Kevin Maguire were attacked on social media for not wearing a poppy for TV appearances, despite it not even being November, the time they're traditionally worn.

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