Wednesday, 11 November 2009
Remembrance Day at St Pancras International
Today the huge, bustling St Pancras station fell silent at 11am - the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, marking the moment World War I ended with the signing of the Armistice Treaty by Germany and the Allies in 1918.
It didn’t happen all at once. Clusters of people hesitated, looked around and stopped tentatively; others kept pushing by with heavy suitcases, walking fast, talking loudly on the telephone. Then from the upper gallery of the station, the poignant melody of Taps started playing, first faintly then louder, and everyone stopped in their tracts, looking up from where the music came from.
I looked around me and hundreds of people, most wearing red poppies, stood perfectly still. For two minutes there were no train announcement, no phone ringing, no talk. Everyone standing there – all remembering, all together. It was eerie and beautiful.