Remembrance Day 2017: The UK observes two-minute silence

The nation falls silent as The Queen and members of the Royal Family join the traditional Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph in London

The nationally observed two-minute silence, and the laying of wreaths at the Cenotaph, commemorates those Servicemen and women killed in all conflicts since the First World War.

This year, The Queen viewed the ceremony from a balcony of the nearby Foreign & Commonwealth Office, alongside The Duke of Edinburgh. Her Majesty’s wreath was laid on her behalf by The Prince of Wales.

The Prime Minister also attended the service along with Defence Secretary, Gavin Williamson, and other members of the Cabinet, former Prime Ministers, The Chiefs of Staff and over 700 regular and reserve personnel.

For the Royal Family, wreaths were also laid by The Duke of Cambridge, Prince Henry of Wales, The Duke of York, The Earl of Wessex, The Princess Royal and The Duke of Kent.

Paying tribute to members of the Armed Forces, both past and present, the Prime Minister, Theresa May said:

It was an honour to attend the Remembrance Sunday service and to lay a wreath at the Cenotaph in memory of all those who have died in defence of our freedom. This time of year should remind us that our way of life is only made possible by the bravery of the men and women who are prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice to keep us safe.

We should also take great pride in the way we come together as a nation to honour the fallen. Today I pay tribute not just to our Armed Forces but also to those who stand alongside them in this small act of remembrance each and every year.

Prior to today’s service, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn released a video in which he extended his warmest thanks, appreciation and solidarity to all veterans.

To signal the start and the end of the two minutes’ silence soldiers from the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery fired a round from nearby Horse Guards Parade which echoed around Whitehall.

As the artillery noise faded, buglers of the Royal Marines sounded the poignant Last Post, which traditionally signalled the end of a soldier’s day.

Following the ceremony thousands of veterans from the Second World War and more recent conflicts such as Iraq and Afghanistan, marched past the Cenotaph.

Defence Secretary, Gavin Williamson said:

I am proud to stand alongside members of the Armed Forces and veterans at the Cenotaph to reflect on those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. This year we have commemorated the centenary of the Battle of Passchendaele where the fields of Flanders saw enormous bravery and vast sacrifice.

On Remembrance Sunday we remember all conflicts including our heroes from more recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Around the globe there are currently thousands of troops deployed in 25 operations in more than 30 countries, often putting themselves in danger to make us safer and more secure at home.

After the service at the Cenotaph, The Earl of Wessex took the Salute at the March Past of Veteran and Civilian Organisations, at Horse Guards Parade.

The Armed Forces also marked Remembrance wherever they were in the world, from guarding NATO’s eastern border, at the Nanyuki War Cemetery in Kenya, to striking Daesh in Syria and to the Mediterranean where the Navy is assisting in migrant rescue operations.

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