We had a 2 minute silence at work on Friday for the 7/7 suicide bombing in London. Everyone was informed the day before about this, and managers were told to speak to their teams about this.
I am not religious or anything (think I am some sort of an agnostic ... ;) ) but then - a 2 minute silence is not about religion in the first place. I think it's about respect for people who died and also for the families etc.
But there are just some people who CANNOT understand that or just WON'T do it. Observing 2 minutes of silence is hardly a problem, is it? If you need to muck about just RESPECT that others want to observe it. Why laugh and talk loud about. I mean - those people have been sitting in a different area of our open plan office, but I still could hear them, so they didn't even ATTEMPT to be quiet!!! It's not as if they haven't been informed about it (was sent out to everyone via e-mail, and it was on the news and in the press for goodness sake!).
I mean - yeah, I don't really do believe in a 2 minute silence for events that happened before neither my big sis nor me were "planned" - but I still am quiet at that time because I respect that others may/do want to observe the 2 minute silence ....