Sunday, November 20, 2016


Beginning November 1, most of the Brits started wearing a red poppy pin.  Some fancy, some quite simple.  By last week, we saw few people who weren't wearing them.  Come to find out, this is the symbol the British use to remember and acknowledge those who have fought (and do fight) in defense of their countries.  The poppy, of course, references the touching poem, "In Flander's Field."  The wearing of the poppies is not all, though.  They take Armistice Day, or Remembrance Day (aka Poppy Day) very seriously.  While it is not a day off work, all people are to stop whatever they are doing on Nov 11 and 11:00 and pause for two minutes of silence.  We did this in the temple in all but one room, where it would have been too disruptive.  It was quite sobering to stop what we were doing and sit in an area with workers and patrons from at least five different countries (though all Allied) and realize the impact that wars have around the world.  Several temple workers had family members who were killed in WWII. (Fathers, uncles, grandfathers, etc.)  I spoke with one sister afterwards who said her first memory was marching with her recently-returned-home father on the first Remembrance Day Parade after WWII.

Everyone, including the men, wore Poppy Pins to Church

The following Sunday (last Sunday) was "Remembrance Sunday" across Britain.  During Sacrament Meeting they observed 2 minutes of silence at 11:00, and a tribute was given.  This was after the opening song and before the Sacrament song, as it was a 10:50 - 12:00 meeting.  Then the Sacrament Meeting talks were focused on the men and women who have kept freedom for the British, tied in with stories from the Book of Mormon wars and the Atonement.  It truly was one of the most touching Sacrament Meetings we'd attended in a long time, and it made us sad that our country no longer seems to rally together over moments like these.  Yes, there were a very few dissenters in the UK, but for the most part this is a very unifying day for them.  It just doesn't seem like we have unifying days in the US like we used to, and that is very sad.  Over the days we heard many times:

"When you go home, tell them of us and say; 
For your tomorrow, we gave our today."

How grateful we are for our fathers who both fought in WWII, and for our close family members (including two sons!) who continue to defend our Country and freedoms!

A little PS to this...  When we arrived in August, this temple didn't have a flag.  The Temple Presidency felt inspired that they should have one installed and it was put up a month ago.  A member of the Temple Presidency, President Rigby, told us yesterday that on Remembrance Sunday he saw three older gentlemen by the flag pictured below.  He started visiting with them and found out they were not members, but had come to pay their respects to the flag.  Then they asked when the Stars and Stripes were going to be put back up.  President Rigby said that the British flag would always fly over this temple and the men said, "But this is an American Church."  President Rigby was able to explain that the LDS Church is a world-wide Church, and this temple was built for the members here in Britain.  The Lord does have His hand in the details that make all the difference!
This is our normal sky - the pictures we usually take are grabbed when the sun
makes one of its rare appearances!  (I think Craig looks very British with his umbrella!)

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