by Anne-lise Kamana
SILENCE fell over George Square on Armistice Day at 11am today to commemorate the fallen soldiers killed in the line of duty.
Members of the public gathered around the square as volunteers distributed paper poppies, in order to pay their respects to the soldiers killed in both the world wars and the 12,000 British soldiers killed or wounded since 1945.
Armistice Day has honored the agreement signed by the Allies and Germany at 11am on the 11th of November 1918. Since that treaty, a two-minute silence has been maintained every year on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.
Derek Masterson, senior media relations officer of the British red cross for Scotland, Wales, Northen Ireland and the Isle of man expresses the importance of Armistice day. Masterson emphasizes the humble beginnings of their organisation by discussing how their founder Henry Dunant came across the carnage of the battle of Solferino where thousands of soldiers were injured and dying in Italy with no apparent help in sight.
“ Dunant gathered women to help the wounded because he was so shocked at the lack of assistance provided to the soldiers in the war, in the aftermath , he decided to create an organisation in Switzerland to help others in the same way that the women of Solferino had helped the wounded soldiers of the great war.
Masterson insists that although his charity has ties to the army including the red cross medical, they remain neutral in all political or army conflicts.
“Although we have links to the military, no one would be in favor of war, the red cross works because we remain impartial and neutral which are part of our seven principals.”
Scotland and England’s football teams will risk breaking FIFA’s ban of not making any political statements by wearing poppy armbands to their world qualifying match later this evening. The football Association disagreed with FIFA’s decision and has encouraged their teams to honor the fallen regardless of the outcome.