Their sacrifice must never be forgotten
As is traditional, and fitting, the people of Britain will fall silent at 11am tomorrow morning. The yearly time for reflection has taken on greater significance on this, the 100th anniversary of the Armistice.
As demonstrated by the wealth of exhibitions and research projects and seas of poppies spilling from churches and public buildings, communities will not forget the sacrifices made in attempts to bring peace to war-torn lands.
The First World War was dubbed – incorrectly, as it turned out – the war to end all wars.
It was followed quickly by the Second World War and countless conflicts through the decades, right up to modern day atrocities committed in Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe.
Sadly, battles continue to rage across the world and we live in increasingly dangerous times.
Ideologies thought to be on the wane are rising again, climate change threatens massive socio-economic instability and the concept of nationhood takes on evergreater significance.
That is why it is wrong to suggest this centenary commemoration should be the last.
The scale of events may never again match what has taken place over the last 12 months but there is no doubting the value of the annual remembrance.
However well meaning, to suggest it is time to forget the past and concentrate only on the future is misguided.
Future generations, or those who have not lived through a world war or its aftermath, must be taught about how their freedoms were won so that they can also learn how quickly they could be lost.
The stories told in the pages of The Courier, and so many places elsewhere, about soldiers, sailors and civilian casualties are not glorying in a war which saw needless slaughter on an industrial scale.
They serve to remind us what was given up on those brutal foreign fields, and why.
It is for that reason we remember them and will continue to do so.