On the 11th November, at 11 a.m., a two-minute silence is observed, in remembrance of all those who died in World War I. So why do we still continue this moment of silence, even after so many years have passed since the end of the First World War?

World War One is considered to be one of the most awful and catastrophic events to take place in recent history. Lasting for four years, from 1914 to 1918, and with over 40 million casualties, 20 million deaths and 21 million injuries, this war left a devastating impact on countries across the globe. 

The first two-minute silence occurred one year after the armistice had been signed, in 1919. King George V decreed that every year, at 11a.m. on the 11th day of the 11th month, the country should stand for two minutes in silence to honour all those who died in the world war. One minute to honour everyone who fought for the country and a second minute to honour those who never returned. After the Second World War, the two-minute silence extended to include those who fought and died in both wars, and now, the silence includes those who fought and died in any war across the world. 

Remembrance Day started out being known as Armistice Day, as the 11th November was the day the armistice was signed, signalling the end of World War One and peace for all. The name changed in 1931, along with the bill that stated it only be observed on the 11th November. In 1946, the date changed to the second Sunday of the month, in order to remember all the soldiers in World War Two, as well as all the soldiers in World War One. Over time, people have begun to observe the two-minute silence on the 11th November and Remembrance Sunday, allowing people to visit the war memorials and honour all the fallen soldiers, even if Remembrance Sunday occurs on a working day. 

Remembrance Day has been a tradition in this country and many across the commonwealth as a way to remember and respect all those, civilians and soldiers, who have died in wars across the world and the two-minute silence serves as a reminder of the tragedies that many have suffered from.