British Embassy Holds 'Remembrance Day' Service

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The British Embassy in Lebanon on Monday held a ‘Remembrance Day’ service at the Beirut Commonwealth War Grave Cemetery in honor of the soldiers who were killed during World Wars I and II, and in other conflicts.

The service was attended by British Ambassador Hugo Shorter; British Defense Attaché Lt. Col. Chris Gunning; Brig.-Gen. Ali al-Hennawi, representing Lebanese Army Commander General Joseph Aoun; Lt. Col. Samer al-Beani, representing Head of the Internal Security Forces Major General Imad Othman; and Brig.- Gen. Labib Ashkouti, representing the Director General of the General Security Major General Abbas Ibrahim. Ambassadors, diplomats and military attachés of U.S., European and Commonwealth countries were present.

At the end of the service, two minutes’ silence was held before Ambassador Shorter and Commonwealth Ambassadors laid wreaths on the memorial. Lebanese and Palestinian war veterans, who served with the British army in World War II, attended with their families.

When asked what it meant for him to attend, 85+ year old Lebanese veteran Deeb El Hajj said: “I will not miss it for the world. This day means so much to me and brings back lots of memories.”

Remembrance Sunday is marked in the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth to commemorate the contribution of British and Commonwealth military and civilian servicemen and women in the two World Wars and later conflicts. It is usually held on the nearest Sunday to November 11, which was Armistice Day -- the end of hostilities in the First World War in 1918.

The Beirut War Cemetery is the final resting place of around 1,200 soldiers, most of whom were from the UK, Australia, New Zealand, India and South Africa. The war graves are supervised by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.