Frequently used in meetings to commemorate some tragic event. A minute of silence may be observed nation-wide on certain occasions, notably to commemorate the dead of a World War. A silent minute was instigated on the occasion of the eclipse on 11th August 1999.
In human intercourse the tragedy begins, not when there is misunderstanding about words, but when silence is not understood. Then there can never be an explanation. Silence is the universal refuge, the sequel to all dull discourses and all foolish acts, a balm to our every chagrin, as welcome after satiety as after disappointment. (Henry David Thoreau).