Today is a very poignant and special day for so many people across the world, a day for gratitude, a day for memories, a sad day for remembering those who have given their lives in the service of others.
This is a simple tribute to all those who have fought with courage and bravery, who have paid the ultimate price for the freedom we hold so dear in the Western world. Heroes to most of us, these ordinary men and women responded to the call to defend liberty, to ensure that freedom remained firmly in place for future generations.
Countless moving ceremonies are taking place globally as I write. As the Last Post sounds at sunset in distant lands, Reveille is waking others to a new day with new challenges and dangers.
It is all too easy in our consumer driven, technological age to dismiss what took place in the past but as Major John Etty-Leal wrote so movingly
And when you go home
Tell them of us and say
For your tomorrow
We gave our today
Men and women are still giving their lives for others, still fighting against oppression for the freedom of many. So it is fitting that we make Remembrance Day an annual memorial, that we honour those who have gone before, that we are thankful for those who died that we might know freedom from fear and tyranny.
The famous words by the poet Laurence Binyon are inscribed on a plaque on the lookout on the cliffs overlooking my village. I have often stood and read them, never failing to be moved by the powerful beauty of the words and the scenery around me. They remind me of my granddad, who served on the trenches of the First World War, and my dad who served in the RAF toward the end of World War 2 and other family members who saw active service at sea.
To all who fought and fight on, to those who have fallen, to all who have loved ones currently in the services and to all who have lost loved ones in the service of their country I dedicate this small but heartfelt tribute. Thank you.
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.
With love and thanks