11 November, 2007

the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month

I do know now where the poppy reference comes from, thanks to you at this website, but I still do not know why we observe the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. Can someone help? Is it the origins of the phrase "the eleventh hour," as in, "the last possible hour one could have done something to help?" I think it must be.

What I know is that I buy a poppy, and always have done since living in England during our first sojourn here or during this, and I wear it, thinking that I never had a relative who sacrificed a life during a war, not for cowardice (far from it, I'm sure, thinking of some of my brave and hotheaded young ancestors!) but for birth dates and education and disability... but I do always think of it. Thank you. Not just for the British, but for the Americans and everyone else. Thank you, however complicated things after YOU things may become.


Jules said...

The 11/11 11am reference relates to the time the war was stopped.

At 5am on 11 November 1918, three German government representatives accepted the armistice terms presented to them by an allied commander, General Foch of the French Army. The demands of the armistice included the withdrawal of German forces to the east bank of the Rhine within 30 days; immediate cessation of warfare; and surrender of the German fleet and all heavy guns with no further negotiations until the signing of the peace treaty.

The armistice became effective at 11am the same day, and as the guns fell silent on the Western Front in France and Belgium, four years of hostilities ended.

jane222 said...

Yes, Jules is right, you can read about it on the BBC website here: