Unique act of remembrance for Armistice Day organised by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
11th November 2020 was an Armistice Day like no other in Woking. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) organised a unique act of remembrance by paying tribute to the 1.7 million Commonwealth war dead in an amazing way.
CWGC created #ShineOn – an inclusive, accessible, digital Remembrance event that was completely free and open to all. Through a virtual experience on the CWGC website, making use of the Commission’s existing extensive records and search facility, the public were able to name stars after one of the 1.7 million Commonwealth war dead in CWGC’s care. The CWGC then encouraged everyone to take a moment at 7pm on 11th November 2020 to step outside their homes, look at the stars and remember the fallen.
Searchlights beamed light into the Armistice night sky from CWGC cemeteries and memorials - the CWGC’s Plymouth Naval Memorial and Brookwood Military Cemetery in Surrey, as well as CWGC’s war grave plots at Cardiff Cathays Cemetery and Edinburgh Rosebank Cemetery. This was not to encourage crowds, but a symbolic gesture that the light of remembrance, even in these dark times, will never be extinguished.
CWGC’s Director General, Mr Barry Murphy, explained:
“For more than a century, we have gathered at the same time on the same day, to bow our heads and think of those who sacrificed their lives for ours, during the two World Wars. But this year’s different.”
Shine On was created in response to the unique circumstance of this remembrance period. There were no mass gatherings at the Cenotaph and war memorials, and many of us were not at our usual places of work to hold a communal two-minute silence.
Despite this, the CWGC ensured that on this Armistice Day, we were still able to take the time to remember those who fell.