11.11.11

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Today is a significant day. Not only is today’s date – 11.11.11 – a perfect palindrome and a once in a century occurrence, but it is of course Armistice Day.

At 11am many will have ceased typing, dropped their pens and held a two minute silence in remembrance of those who gave up their lives as members of the armed forces during the two world wars and later conflicts.

But do we truly appreciate the tragic significance of 11th November, when it is so often distracted by celebrity and scandal?

Earlier this week, Prince William and David Cameron were caught up in a row with FIFA, after world soccer chief Sepp Blatter banned the England team from wearing poppies during tomorrow’s match against Spain.

FIFA argued that the poppy broke rules that prevent political, religious or unauthorised commercial messages being displayed on football shirts.

At the other end of the spectrum, poppies have become something of a winter must-have accessory. Royal Mail launched an eye-catching range of limited edition poppy stamps while X Factor and Strictly Come Dancing judges have led the fashion pack, sporting the Poppy Appeal’s new crystal-encrusted brooches and jewellery – priceless poppy PR indeed.

The 2011 range is expected to generate a massive £40 million this year – the biggest in the history of the Royal British Legion.

Tabloid scandal and poppy fashion spreads aside, whether we wear a poppy today or not, #lestweforget that 11.11.11 is above all a date for reflection.