Never forget lives lost for our freedom
AT 11am today the country will come to a standstill.
This year, more than ever, we come together to honour those who fought for us.
It is a momentous day. A century has passed since the First World War came to an end.
We were supposed to learn lessons. It was supposed to be “The War to End All Wars”. But of course it wasn’t. It raised the curtain on a bloody century, where we lost men and women on an unimaginable scale.
Technology and mass mobilisation turned nations into killing machines.
And almost every part of the globe was touched by conflict.
We didn’t learn the lessons that were in front of us.
One day, perhaps, we might. And only then will we truly honour the sacrifices of those who served.
In the meantime, we must remember the fallen.
There was some talk that 100 years is enough and that the time for remembrance is done. But that is nonsense. It is more vital than ever that we mark these terrible wars.
Besides, remembrance is in our blood. It is part of the national DNA – and so it should be.
It’s in the names we learn at school and from the news: The Somme, Ypres, Passchendaele, Basra, Helmand and Gallipoli.
But, more importantly, it’s in the names we see every day.
Those names engraved on the village war memorial.
The names on boards in the town hall, on park benches, plaques and in memorial gardens.
The names that keep memories alive, in Britain and all over the world. The names of ordinary people who did extraordinary things and made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.
These people who gave so much. These people who had our names.