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• Remembering on the elevenses.

An Empire’s Silence.

[Staff report, Feilding (New Zealand) Star] – To-day is Armistice Day, and, at the King’s command, the tribute of two minutes’ silence was generally observed from 11 o’clock throughout the British Empire.

In Feilding, the steam whistles at the factories and the bells rang out to give notice of the silent tribute to follow. Machinery was stopped and work ceased in factory and office and shop and home. Even the trains were held up for the two minutes.

The executive of the Feilding Chamber of Commerce was in session when the hour struck. Immediately, members rose up and stood in silence at the prescribed time.

From the Feilding Star, 11 November 1919 |

Telford’s silence.

[Staff report, Shropshire Live] – Telford & Wrekin Council Deputy Mayor, Cllr Kevin Guy, will be attending the annual Armistice Day event, which is held in Telford Town Park at 11am. Wreaths will be laid by the Council and other organisations at the memorial. A bugler will play the last post and the reveille in a moving tribute to all those who have fallen in conflict.

Cllr Malcolm Smith, Telford & Wrekin Council Mayor, said: “I feel humbled to be involved with events on Armistice Day and Remembrance Day.

“I think we all know someone who has been affected by the tragedy of war and I know I will be taking the opportunity to think about the sacrifices that these people have made for their respective countries, both in wars gone by and during current conflict.

“Even if people aren’t able to attend one of the many Remembrance Day events taking place throughout the borough, I would encourage everyone to recognise the two minutes silence at 11am on 11 November and take a moment of quiet remembrance.”

In Shrewsbury Mayor Tony Durnell will be joining Royal British Legion representatives in the Square at 10.45 for a two minutes silence.

Continued at Shropshire Live |

Worcester’s silence.

[Leading article] – Today, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of the 11th year of the century, we bow our heads and fall silent…Sadly, members of our Armed Forces are still laying down their lives in the service of their country. One day, we hope, the bloodshed will cease forever.

But even were that dream to come true we would still remember them.

We would in perpetuity keep our two-minute silence and wear our poppies with pride and in gratitude.

Those are two noble qualities that FIFA, football’s out-of-touch governing body, seems to confuse with triumphalism.

Thankfully, it has backed down from its ludicrous attempt to ban the England team from honouring our war heroes in the game against Spain tomorrow.

But not before sullying its already tarnished reputation.

Continued at the Worcester Star |

Vancouver’s silence.

By RUDY POSPISIL [The Province, Vancouver, B.C.] – It’s very important we all know what this day means. So I thought it appropriate to mention a few short but important things about this special day even though it’s outside of my usual topics….

This day is to remember the members of the armed forces that died in the line of duty and that served their Countries. In Commonwealth Countries it’s called Remembrance Day and in America it’s called Veterans Day. It’s also called Armistice Day because it’s the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War 1.

In school when we learned about the significance of this day, I never payed too much attention. Now I wish I had because I realized later in life how important it really is. We should all try to realize how important it really is and not just think of it as another day off. Wear a poppy and attend a ceremony, you will be glad you did so will the veterans that see you there. I now understand that ‘all gave some, some gave all’ is more than just a phrase.

Continued at The Province|

Gibraltar’s silence.

[Leading article, Gibraltar Chronicle] – Today at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month marks the signing of the Armistice to signal the end of World War One “the War to end all Wars”, on the 11th November 1918. This year is an extra special occasion given that for the first time ever, it is also the eleventh year.

As in previous years, the occasion will be celebrated with a short ceremony at the Lobby of Parliament House. The two-minute silence will be marked by the firing of a gun by the Royal Gibraltar Regiment at 11am. Buglers will then sound the Last Post and wreaths will be laid.

Continued at the Gibraltar Chronicle |

Oakland’s silence, remembered.

By JOE KING [Oakland Tribune]– It was part of our commemoration of Armistice Day while I was growing up in the 1930s. At that appointed hour in November 1918, the guns on the Western Front fell silent and “the War to End All Wars” was over.

A miles-long parade of uniformed soldiers, sailors, marines and other marching units was marching up Broadway in Oakland, then turning onto 20th Street to head back down Harrison Street to the Embarcadero. Brass bands were blaring with drums beating their rhythmic cadences. We crowded curbside along the route to clap and cheer for favored groups or placed our hands over hearts when color-bearers passed.

Then! As the minute hand on the Tribune Tower’s clock pointed straight up at 11, everything stopped — silence. No one spoke. No one even whispered. And, for one very long minute or two, most of us, paraders and onlookers, thought reverently of those who had given all they had on the foreign fields and in France’s mud-laden trenches so long ago.

A moment like no other.

Continued at the Oakland Tribune |

Camus’ silence, explained.

By ROBERT ZARETSKY [Tablet] – Camus’ deepest and most intriguing bond to Judaism is revealed in his philosophy of the absurd. In early 1941, when Vichy was preparing a second round of anti-Semitic legislation and the papers in France and Algeria were giving free rein to anti-Semitic rhetoric, Camus completed his philosophical essay “The Myth of Sisyphus.” The opening lines are among the best known written by Camus: “There is just one truly important philosophical question: suicide. To decide whether life is worth living is to answer the fundamental question of philosophy. Everything else … is child’s play; we must first of all answer the question.” Of course that question needed to be answered in 1941. How could it be otherwise, given the dire predicament in which the French and French Jews, along with Camus, found themselves?

But if the question persists, it is because it is more than a matter of historical or autobiographical interest. It is perennial. It is the same question that Job confronts when, with his children dead, his possessions gone, his belief in God tested, and he himself crumpled in a mound of dust and ashes, his wife tells him, “Curse God and die.” And it is the same question we all confront when, as Camus wrote in the “Myth,” the stage sets collapse around us—any number of belief and value systems we have lived with our entire lives—and we suddenly confront a stripped and bare world whose strangeness and opacity beggar any effort at comprehension.

Job and Sisyphus, in short, are heaved into a world shorn of transcendence and meaning. In response to their demand for answers, they get only silence. Herein lies the absurdity, Camus writes: It is “the confrontation of this irrational and the wild longing for clarity whose call echoes in the human heart. The absurd depends as much on man as on the world. For the moment it is all that links them together.”

The silence of the world, in effect, only becomes silence when human beings enter the equation.

Continued at the Tablet | More Chronicle & Notices.


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