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The Cenotaph is London’s memorial to the war dead. Its name comes from the Greek words Kenos and Taphos, meaning ‘empty tomb.’
The Cenotaph that we see today was built by Edwin Lutyens at the end of World War I, to replace the plaster body which was hastily erected for the Allied Victory Parade. It now represents every Commonwealth battle since 1918.
The body consists of a simple carved wreath on either side of the words
The Glorious Dead. The flags of the British Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force join the Union Jack around the base. There are no religious motifs on it whatsoever.
Every year, on the Sunday closest to November 11th, a steady stream of veterans march down Whitehall past the Cenotaph for the Remembrance Day Parade. The Queen, Prime Minister, and other leading dignitaries gather for a sombre service, and lay poppy wreaths at the foot of the tower.
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