Remembrance Day: From the Cenotaph to Kandahar, war dead are honoured

We are incredibly proud of what they have achieved. Thanks to their sacrifice, Afghanistan is a better country

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The Independent Online

Terror threats must not be allowed to “stop the British way of life”, the head of the British armed forces said on Remembrance Sunday.

General Sir Nicholas Houghton was speaking after reports that remembrance events in London were targets for a potential attack. Scotland Yard said it had an “appropriate and proportionate” policing plan for the ceremony at Whitehall.

The Queen received unprecedented applause from the crowd after laying a wreath at the Cenotaph amid the heightened terror alert. David Cameron was joined at the Cenotaph by the former Prime Ministers Sir John Major and Tony Blair. Nick Clegg, Ed Miliband and Boris Johnson also laid wreaths.

Veterans parade through central London

The commemorations had an  extra poignancy coming 100 years since the start of the Great War and the end of British combat in Afghanistan.

Prince Harry flew to Kandahar airfield where he laid a personal wreath and gave a reading before lining up with fellow servicemen for “The Last Post and Reveille” played by the Royal Artillery Band.

The Camp Bastion military base in Helmand is due to close in a few weeks with the last British troops scheduled to leave by the end of the year.

A service at the Commando Memorial at Spean Bridge in the Scottish Highlands

Brigadier Darrell Amison said: “The final Remembrance Sunday ceremony in southern Afghanistan has significant poignancy as we pay tribute to the 453 men and women who have given their lives since 2001, along with the many hundreds who have suffered life-changing injuries.

“We are incredibly proud of what they have achieved. Thanks to their sacrifice, Afghanistan is a better country and we walk in safer streets at home in the UK. We will remember them.”

General Houghton told the BBC: “The proximity of the sense of threat for this weekend, which has intensified the nature of the security that’s attendant on it, has contributed to quite a different feel about this year… we have just got to keep continuing our normal life.”