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Remembrance Day in Bermuda

The 11th hour, on the 11th day of the 11th month. Bermuda takes today very seriously and the day is a national holiday with shops and businesses closed to remember those that were lost. The island lost 125 brave men and women during the World Wars fighting overseas on behalf of the Brits, Americans and Canadians protecting the freedom of those back home on a 21 sq. mile island in the middle of the Atlantic.

Also during those bleak years the Home Guard were joined by Bermudians in Royal Naval Dockyard who kept the Atlantic supply lines open, ensuring the British and Americans received essential supplies.

At 11am today guns are fired at Fort Hamilton and Ordnance Island in St. George’s, to signal the two-minute silence and a parade by over 180 veterans is held in Hamilton ending with wreaths being laid at the Cenotaph on Front Street (photo).

I am grateful for having today off work but I know it could have been so very different if it wasn’t for those that gave their lives to allow us to live ours. It is a shame other countries don’t consider today worthy of a national holiday as it should bring generations and cultures together more than any religious holidays.

“If ye break faith with us who die, we will not sleep, though poppies grow in Flander’s fields.”

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. SLC Addick #

    I take pride in and am grateful to the 5 UK and one US marines who finished a 5000 kilometer run on Santa Monica pier today. The triple amputee who lost his limbs to a mine in Afghanistan and all the wounded and fallen deserve our thanks and praise. Here in the US, flags are flying on our neighbors lawns and though it isn’t a holiday, we remember.

    November 11, 2010
  2. Hungry Ted #

    Excellent post. There has been some talk over here in the UK as to how hard it has been this year to find poppy sellers. Some are suggesting there is too much theft of the collection tins and shops don’t want the hassle, others suggest it is simply about a lack of volunteers. Not a good sign.

    I work in construction and insisted without exception that my entire site laid down their tools and observed the silence at 11am. It was observed impeccably (I shouldn’t have been surprised by that but I wasn’t sure that some of the younger lads would show the respect the moment deserved).

    Best of all, I got home to find my little girl (7) sat on the sofa watching cartoons with a poppies on her school dress. When I asked her whether she knew why she was wearing it she game me a faultless answer. I thought she was still a tad too young to engage in deep conversations of the importance of knowing your history, but I was wrong, thankfully.

    My dearly-missed Grandfather fought in the Far East and was held by the Japanese for 4 odd years. Thankfully he came home, but his bravery to do so will forever be an inspiration to me.

    November 12, 2010
  3. Nice one Ted. Love that your daughter and clearly her school involve the kids in such an important part of our history.

    I’ve of course been away a few years but I got the feeling that ‘Poppy Day’ had made a bit of a comeback these last few years at home.

    You can’t ‘buy’ poppies here but I have been pleasantly surprised how many people I have seen wearing them this week on the island.

    November 12, 2010

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