Touching: The Queen leads sombre nation in honouring those who fell in wars

Queen Elizabeth II at the Cenotaph memorial in London on Remembrance Sunday
Queen Elizabeth II at the Cenotaph memorial in London on Remembrance Sunday
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AROUND 10,000 veterans marched past the Cenotaph in London in one of the best-attended Remembrance ceremonies in recent years.

The Queen led the nation in honouring the fallen as the country fell silent at 11am yesterday to remember its war dead.

The monarch laid the first wreath at the Cenotaph to commemorate members of the Armed Forces who died fighting in all conflicts since the First World War.

The crowds watching the service in central London could be the largest yet, the Royal British Legion said. The charity’s head of remembrance, Helen Hill, said that numbers were swollen as recent conflicts brought the realities of war home to a new generation.

She said the number of veterans marching had increased by around 3,000 in the last five years.

“The numbers are going up, not down,” she added.

“There are an increasing number of associations looking after the veteran community. More and more people want to participate in the activities.”

Thousands of people also respected the two-minute silence on social media site Twitter, abstaining from posting messages during the period of reflection.

The idea was spread using the hashtag #2minutesilence.

The National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, Staffordshire, hosted an outdoor service of remembrance attended by more than 3,000 people.

The arboretum’s focal point, the national Armed Forces Memorial, is designed so that on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, a shaft of sunlight dissects its inner and outer walls, falling on a bronze wreath sculpture.

The Portland stone memorial is the nation’s tribute to more than 16,000 servicemen and women who have died on duty, or as a result of terrorism, since 1948.