They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun, and in the morning
We will remember them.

It’s very hard to find something to say about Remembrance without sounding either twee or melodramatic or, given current situations in Afghanistan and/or Iraq, very political.

So today is to appreciate what has gone before, and the people who lost their lives to protect what we now hold and to remember the people known personally to me who died in military service.

This year we have seen the 90th anniversary of the battle of Paschendale in WW1, and next year will be the 90th anniversary of the end of WW1. In the UK we have five surviving veterans of that war, the youngest of whom is a sprightly106. What they survived and the experiences they had are unimaginable – in the literal sense of the word. Recently I have been reading the blog of Harry Lamin, posted by his grandson and consisting of his letters from France to his family; posted on the 90th anniversary of the day on which they were written together with extracts from his Battalion Diary. Reading what was happening to Harry’s company and comparing it with his letters home is spine chilling and paints a picture of grim survival combined with the very human desire to reassure family back home.

Remembrance is to honour those whose lives were given to protect what they held dear and to acknowledge appreciation of those who have survived, but as well as that I am thankful for the peace existing in much of the world and pray for the safety of all those caught in conflict, and for peaceful resolution.

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