November 11th is Remembrance Sunday.
It is the day each year when the people of Britain and other countries all over the Commonwealth pause at 11am (on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month) to remember all the men and women, some barely more than boys and girls, who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country during wartime.
It is a sombre and reflective occasion, marked by a moving ceremony at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, at which wreaths are laid by our political leaders and two minutes’ silence is observed.
The days leading up to Remembrance Sunday are best symbolised by the simple, yet evocative image of the poppy, representing the poppy fields at Flanders in Belgium where so many servicemen and women lost their lives during World War One.
It is uplifting how all these years later, the memory of all that suffering is preserved this time each year by the simple act of people donating a little money and purchasing a small plastic poppy to wear on their clothing for a few days.
I had forgotten just how widespread poppy wearing is at this time of the year – they have been everywhere on the streets of London this last week, worn by people of all ages, nationalities and backgrounds
I have an old picture of myself at primary school wearing a poppy from many years ago and this last week I have once again been sporting one each day.
I’m not sure if the Royal British Legion (the charity behind the appeal) still encourage people to “wear their poppy with pride”, but I do. And I always will.
Lest we forget.