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The BBC's Jennie Bond
"The bravery of so many will not be forgotten in the new millennium"
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Prince Charles attends the remembrance festival
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Saturday, 11 November, 2000, 20:23 GMT
Britain marks Armistice Day
Prince Charles
Prince Charles receives the Millennium Flame of Remembrance
Millions of people across the UK have observed a two-minute silence marking the moment the guns stopped and World War I ended in 1918.

Shops and airports, railway stations and other venues across the country fell silent at 1100GMT - on the 11th day of the 11th month - to mark Armistice Day.

Although Remembrance Sunday is on 12 November the silence marks the exact moment the guns stopped firing 82 years ago.

Festival of Remembrance

Events culminated in the Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall which was attended by the Queen and the Prince of Wales.

Before the festival, 15-year-old schoolgirl Sarah Baker presented Prince Charles with the Millennium Flame of Remembrance which had been carried from the Millennium Dome to the Cenotaph and on to the Albert Memorial by 500 children.

Millennium Dome Remembrance services
Children formed a Circle of Remembrance in the Millennium Dome

The presentation took place in the driving rain on the steps of the Albert Memorial opposite the Royal Albert Hall.

Children were central to the Millennium commemoration of Britain's war dead.

Earlier, at the Millennium Dome in Greenwich, 2,000 schoolchildren joined hands to form a circle of remembrance in memory of the dead and as a symbol of hope for future generations.

Teenager Sam Harrison, 13, from Australia, read a brief address before those gathered at the Dome stood in silence as Big Ben chimed the 11th hour.

British troops
British troops off Sierra Leone mark Remembrance Day

Prime Minister Tony Blair came out from Downing Street to join crowds at the Cenotaph for the silence.

Mr Blair said: "The first Remembrance Day of the new century provides an important opportunity to reflect on the debt owed to those who fought and died so we can all enjoy peace and freedom."

A large number of special Remembrance Day events took place on Saturday, while other events, such as the Lord Mayor's Show in London, incorporated the two-minute silence.

Poet Laureate Andrew Motion, whose father took part in the D-Day landings, gave a short reading of verse by Wilfred Owen at a special service in London's Imperial War Museum.

War grave gardeners

Other events include a remembrance service at the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds to remember the 600 men from the 2nd King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry who died at the battle of Le Cateau in August 1914.

On the eve of Remembrance Day, gardeners who tend British war graves on the continent learned they had won the first round of their battle against proposed pay cuts.

The Commonwealth's War Graves Commission has withdrawn plans to reduce allowances for gardeners living abroad while a review of the proposals is carried out.

Preparations across the country are now under way for wreath-laying ceremonies on Remembrance Sunday.

Lord Mayor's show
The Lord Mayor's Show stopped for two minutes silence

On Sunday thousands of ex-servicemen and women will march along Horse Guards Parade in central London to the Cenotaph where wreaths will be laid in memory of the war dead.

The Queen, Duke of Edinburgh, Prince of Wales, Duke of York, Princess Royal and Duke of Kent will lay their wreaths at the base of the Cenotaph in Whitehall after two minutes silence.

Wreaths will also be laid by Mr Blair, Mr Hague and other politicians.

The Queen Mother will not be well enough to attend the Sunday ceremony in central London, for the second year running, after falling and breaking her collar bone five days ago.

The Royal British Legion, which hopes its poppy appeal will raise 20m to help veterans of all conflicts, predicted more than 40 million people observed the two-minute silence.

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26 Oct 00 | Entertainment
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