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1918 - 2008 : Ninety Years of Remembrance
By Mike Hill
Mike looks at the BBC campaign to mark the 90th anniversary of Armistice which aims to personalise the act of remembrance and bring World War One vividly alive in the present.
This year marks the 90th anniversary of the end of the First World War. On 11th November 1918 the Armistice was signed between the Allied and German armies ending a global war that lasted four years and extinguished millions of lives.
Every year since then we have taken the opportunity to commemorate those that served, and more particularly gave their lives, both in that "Great" War and in subsequent wars and conflicts.
On both days at 11am, the time the fighting stopped on that first Armistice Day, there is a two minute silence to allow time to remember those who served, fought and died and those who are still fighting.
For the Fallen
We traditionally precede the two minute silence with a reading of these famous lines from Laurence Binyon's poem "For the Fallen" -
They shall not grow old as we that are left grow old:
Many two minute silences are then followed by a lone bugler playing The Last Post, reminiscent of times of war when trumpets were as much a part of battle as bayonets or guns. This "simple service of Silence and Remembrance" as King George V described it when it was first announced in 1919, remains as important and respected now as it did nearly a century ago.
In this particularly poignant anniversary year the BBC is running a special campaign to commemorate the memory of that first Armistice Day.
Share your memories
BBC Tees is taking a full part in this both online and in our programmes. One way in which we would like you to participate in this is by telling us what the two minute silence means to you and who and what you think about during that period of reflection.
We would like you to share with us the memory of those you remember, whether from the First World War or subsequent wars or conflicts, and tell us why you think the opportunity to remember as a nation, and personally, is important.
In addition on Sunday mornings in the run up to Remembrance Sunday I'll be following following the visit, earlier this year, of a group of pilgrims to the war graves of the Somme. One of them was Keith Hunter from Durham who was paying his respects to his grandfather Pioneer Thomas William Hunter.
On Remembrance Sunday itself (9th November) the programme will feature music, stories and reflections to commemorate both the 90th anniversary of the end of the First World War and the losses suffered in the subsequent conflicts and wars and, sadly, continuing up to the present day in Iraq and Afghanistan and elsewhere around the globe, which conflicts and wars have touched so many lives across our own area of Teesside, County Durham and North Yorkshire.