ON Remembrance Sunday together with the Rev Deborah Hall from Batley Central Methodist Church, I led Batley’s annual Remembrance Day service.
We marched through the streets behind the RAF Cadet Band, before taking up our position in the War Memorial Garden. As we led the service, I noticed rows of people standing in silence to pay their respects to those who had given their lives fighting for their country, in armed conflicts around the world, not just in the two world wars, but also in all similar conflicts since, in particular the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
As we stood in silence I thought of the holidays I had spent in Northern France and Normandy, where I visited war cemeteries, both as an adult and as a boy. I thought of the lines of crosses and well-kept graves and the poppies growing in the hedgerows. I thought of the bloody horror of war and the sacrifices made for the freedoms we enjoy today.
Their sacrifice had not been in vain. “They shall not grow 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.”
We will remember them.