• Mark 2400

September 11th moments of silence were observed last Saturday and Sunday at concerts, plays, picnics, and sporting events across Chicago and the nation. If you didn’t participate in a public moment of silence over the weekend, you probably weren’t at a public event.

In the western world, credit for the idea of a memorial moment of silence is generally given to Edward George Honey, an Australian journalist. He was living in London in 1919 when the British were considering how to commemorate the first anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I on Nov. 11, 1918. A rowdy celebration was expected for the anniversary. In May 1919, Honey wrote a letter to the London Evening News, asking for the silent recognition of the soldiers who’d died in the war. “In France, in Flanders, and in the deserts of the East stand crosses unnumbered to mark the splendor of their sacrifice,” Honey wrote. “Can we not spare some fragments of those hours of peace…for a silent tribute to the mighty dead? I would ask for five minutes, five silent minutes, of national remembrance, in the home, in the street, anywhere indeed where men and women chance to be.”