The climb up the treacherous hill was tiring but as the chiming of bells got louder the higher I walked, the sense of fulfilment came as I reached the top. Crowds were gathered, the glint of a red poppy pinned proudly on everyone’s coats. I stood on the edge of the crowds outside the cathedral with my own poppy pinned on my coat. I blended into the crowd another person standing out in the rain, waiting for the parade to begin.
Despite the downpour of rain that fell onto the crowds, everyone standing around me were prepared for this dreary weather. As the first drop of rain fell umbrellas rose up one by one, until I was the only one standing in the rain with just a scarf held over my head for protection against the drops.
But regardless of the weather everyone stood still for the two minute silence at 11:00am as the sound of the bell rang across Lincoln signalling for all conversations to fall silent.
As I stood amongst the crowd in silence, the atmosphere was different, you could feel the respect that everyone felt towards those who fought for the country during the war. It was a time for everyone to remember the thousands who had risked their lives and those who never made it back home all those years ago.
Men and women in uniform stood proudly, with their families surrounding them. The new generation of young individuals who were risking their lives, for the country now were remembering those who came before them.
As the two minute silence ended, many members of the crowd lingered as we waited for the parade. From the distance you could hear the echo of a trumpet being played. The sound gradually growing louder as the military parade slowly made their way towards the cathedral from the castle. With the sound of the band in the background and the military flags held high, one by one the members of the armed forces who had attended the service in the cathedral slowly exited. Each of them walked down the strip of pavement to exit the cathedral. With retired members of the armed forces proudly holding flags above them.
Watching Remembrance Day memorials on television could never compete with actually being there and experiencing it in person. It felt different for an individual like myself who has no real connection to the war, to be surrounded by people who had loved ones who died or are still part of the armed forces.