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Moment of Remembrance Puts Memorial Back in Memorial Day

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 23, 2000 – The British called it "The Great Silence," as if there had never been a moment's silence in the world before.

The Great Silence marked the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918 -- the moment marking the armistice ending the fighting during World War I. All over Great Britain, people stopped where they were and reflected on the sacrifice of a generation in the trenches of the Great War. The Great Silence continues in England, and now something comparable will happen in the United States.

"We want to put memorial back in Memorial Day," said Carmella LaSpada, event coordinator for the National Moment of Remembrance.

The National Moment of Remembrance calls for all Americans to stop at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day -- wherever they are -- and take one minute to think of the Americans who died to ensure freedom around the world.

LaSpada said the White House is asking radio stations to play "Taps" during the Moment. "We selected 3 p.m. because that is the time of the day that the majority of Americans are out enjoying the freedom for which these people died," she said.

She said she hopes the moment becomes a new American tradition. DoD officials encourage service members to participate. "At Army posts, on ships at sea, on Air Force bases -- wherever people may be at that time -- they should participate in the moment," she said.

The National Moment of Remembrance Web site is at www.whitehouse.gov/remembrance.

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