The first stroke of eleven produced a magical effect. The tram cars glided into stillness, motors ceased to cough and fume, and stopped dead, and the mighty-limbed dray horses hunched back upon their loads and stopped also, seeming to do it of their own volition. Someone took off his hat, and with a nervous hesitancy the rest of the men bowed their heads also. Here and there an old soldier could be detected slipping unconsciously into the posture of 'attention'. An elderly woman, not far away, wiped her eyes, and the man beside her looked white and stern. Everyone stood very still ... The hush deepened. It had spread over the whole city and become so pronounced as to impress one with a sense of audibility. It was a silence which was almost pain ... And the spirit of memory brooded over it all.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
It's Veterans Day here in the U.S. and Remembrance Day (or Poppy Day) in the U.K.
In Britain, a two-minute silence is traditionally observed. The First Two Minute Silence in London took place on November 11, 1919 — and was reported in the Manchester Guardian the following day: