To mark the final year of the World War One centenary, The Royal British Legion has launched a movement to say “Thank You” to the First World War generation who served, sacrificed and changed our world and is calling on mass involvement from the public.
For the past four years of the Centenary the nation has commemorated the tremendous loss of life during the War, and as the centenary draws to a close the Legion is recognising the legacy that was left to us by this remarkable generation.
The movement will honour not only the 1.2 million British and Commonwealth Armed Forces who lost their lives, but also those – both military and civilian – who played their part on the home front, and those who returned to build a better life for the benefit of generations to come.
The Legion wants members of the British public from all cultures and faiths, community groups, schools, companies and sports clubs to join the movement and express their gratitude to those who gave so much to the war effort and its aftermath, and rebuilt the nation after its darkest hour.
A range of diverse partners and organisations have already committed support to the “Thank You” movement including the English National Ballet, the West India Committee, Cadbury’s and the United Kingdom Punjab Heritage Association. A national youth competition is also underway where young people aged between nine and 16 are being asked to create an expression of art, poetry or song that says thank you.
The First World War left so many legacies that positively impact our lives today, from ground-breaking social change to pioneering innovations. The end of the centenary is a chance for us all to thank not only the British Armed Forces who fought and gave their lives, but the thousands who fought alongside them from countries from across today’s Commonwealth, and the countless men, women and children who played their part on the home front.
We all have a connection to the First World War and we all have a reason to say thank you to this special generation. Whether your personal “Thank You” is an event dedicated to those who made a difference in your community, a personal visit to a place of significance or a social media post there’s no limit to the ways people can take part. We are making a plea to every single person across the UK to get involved and take a moment in this very significant year to say “Thank You”.
The Legion is asking the nation to plan their Thank You activity to take place from August 8 onwards, to coincide with the anniversary of the so-called ‘100 days offensive’.
Please visit rbl.org.uk/thankyou for further information and to find out how you can get involved in the “Thank You” movement.