On the day of writing this, it is Sunday 9th November 2014; Remembrance Sunday. In other words, a day where we remember those who have lost their lives serving in the armed forces for us. There is also a Remembrance Day, which is the 11th November each year, as a reminder of the armistice of 11/11. Whichever day you are speaking of, they are one and the same.
I used to be quite cynical of Remembrance Sunday and Remembrance Day. It used to rattle me. I felt that all of this effort was going in to commemorate those who had died in War, yet we didn’t seem to have learnt anything from it, with more and more people dying each day in wars (particularly, these days, in the Middle East). A few years on, I realise that was an extremely childish mentality to have.
The world is not a perfect place. In the past few months our newspapers have been plastered with ISIS and the horrific atrocities they have been doing in the Middle East against innocent people. I used to question why on earth my Uncle wanted to be in the RAF, my cousin in the Navy… and in the past year, one of my best friends the Marines. But I now understand. Being in the armed forces does mean committing what are, in some ways, atrocities; but it’s to protect the lives and rights of innocent people.
I couldn’t do what the armed forces do. I have so much respect for how they put their lives on the line to defend the lives of others.
There is a stigma with Remembrance Sunday and Remembrance Day to simply associate it with the First and Second World War, which feels out of touch and irrelevant to our generation now. So I urge you to turn and think about the wars raging in the world at the moment. Soldiers have died to defend you… in some ways, it’s due to them that you are able to read this post today.
Take a moment to stop and think about the people who defend you today. Because they’re the, far too often, faceless heroes of today. And they’re the people I’ll be thinking of in these days of Remembrance.