Remembrance Day: A simple matter of respect

I am, by nature, a pacifist and, like everyone else of my generation,have never had to answer a call to arms.

But that does not stop me from having the utmost respect for those who have ever served in any of our Armed Forces.
And that respect is not just confined to the days leading up to Remembrance Day on Tuesday.

That day is, in itself, a time to remember those, either conscripted or regular member of the British Army, The Royal Navy or the Royal Air Force, who have given their lives in any conflict in living memory.

And that is why I wear my poppy with pride.

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I do not wear it just at this time of year, but it is permanently pinned on to one of my coats.

People may think I have simply forgotten to take it out.

But that is not the case.

It is there as my own permanent reminder of family members I never met because their lives were lost in the Second World War.

It is also there in memory of the friends and relatives of my own friends and relatives who were cruelly taken in either World War or any of the conflicts since then.

And it is also there as a permanent reminder of the brave men and women whose names we have had to record in these columns in more recent times.

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This is not a time of year for politics, no matter what colour of rosette you would naturally wear.

Nor, in my mind, is it a time of celebration. It is a time of year when the overwhelming feeling is one of loss and grief. And it is also a time of year when respect is the only thing that really matters.

There have been many services of Remembrance throughout Burnley.

Over the years I have attended many public Remembrance Services.

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And I don’t think I have ever spoken to anyone while I have been there.

Instead, I have offered my silent thoughts and prayers for people I have never met.

And, at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, I always stop what I am doing and spend two minutes in quiet reflection. It is a simple matter of respect.