Glasnevin Cemetery commemorated the 101st anniversary of Armistice Day
Irish soldiers who fought in World War I were honored during a ceremony at Dublin’s Glasnevin Cemetery in commemoration of the 101st anniversary of Armistice Day, November 11, 1918, in which World War I officially ended.
As part of the ceremony hosted on November 11 in Dublin, five Victoria Cross commemorative plaques were unveiled, dedicated to five soldiers from different ranks who showed extreme bravery during the conflict between 1914 and 1918.
About 200,000 Irish men and women served in the British forces during the First World War and about 35,000 died.
Molly Meleady-Hanley, whose great-great-uncle Patrick Meleady served during the war as a gunner for the Royal Field Artillery, gave a reading during the ceremony.
Meleady, who is buried in Glasnevin Cemetery, was wounded on the battlefield and taken as a prisoner of war. Towards the end of the war, he contracted influenza and died in 1919 aged 20.
#ArmisticeDay commemoration at Glasnevin Cemetary.— France in Ireland (@FranceinIreland) November 11, 2019
Molly Meleady-Hanley, Great-Great Niece of Gunner Patrick Meleady who died in 1919 and is buried in Glasnevin Cemetery, is reading a poem honoring her uncle’s memory before the wreath laying ceremony. #11Novembre #LestWeForget pic.twitter.com/SlZE4QTNbm
At 11 am, the congregation took part in a moment of silence.
David Bunworth, chairman of Glasnevin Trust, said the annual Armistice Day commemoration provides an opportunity “to remember the many brave men and women from across the island of Ireland and beyond, who gave their lives in the cause of peace.”
He added: “The Cross of Sacrifice under which we laid commemorative wreaths this morning is a lasting tribute of the enormous sacrifices made during this tragic time in our history.
"I hope this annual commemoration acts as a reminder of the importance of peace and reconciliation.”
After the event, Stephane Crouzat, the French ambassador to Ireland, said: “By standing in silence here on Armistice Day, I would like to express my gratitude in the name of France to all the brave men and women who sacrificed their lives during the darkest hours of our history.
“Let us reflect on the words of Marechal Foch, which are inscribed on the French monument at Glasnevin.
“Some of the flower of Irish chivalry rests in the cemeteries that have been reserved in France, and the French people will always have these reminders of the debt that France owes to Irish valour. We shall always see that the graves of these heroes from across the sea are lovingly tended, and we shall try to ensure that the generations that come after us shall never forget the heroic dead of Ireland’.”