At the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, I joined many others at the Cenotaph in Belfast to remember the soldiers who have given their lives in defence of freedom. It was good to see so many people gather for those few minutes of reflection but several of them commented on their disappointment that there was no ceremony. Even a very simple and brief ceremony would have been appreciated and it is something that deserves careful consideration by Belfast City Council and the Royal British Legion.
The main ceremony is now on Remembrance Sunday but there is good reason to have a simple ceremony on the 11th day and I believe that if it was known that there was a short cermony, it would draw even more of the shoppers and workers who are already in the city centre.
The tradition of having a two minute silence on 11 November dates back to 1919, when King George V asked the public to observe a silence at 11am. This was one year after the end of World War 1 and he made the request so that 'the thoughts of everyone may be concentrated on reverent remembrance of the glorious dead'.