In my opinion: The act of Remembrance is the cost of the price of peace
As I approach Remembrance Sunday and on the actual day, the November 11, whatever day of the week it may fall on, I remember no one place or theatre of conflict in particular, as there are so many, but I am thankful I am still around and remember my fallen pals who did not make it back home.
The tragedies and challenges of war have been dramatically realised by past generations of British servicemen and women, but now are being dramatically realised by a new generation. Being not a great military historian, I believe for the First World War an average week's deaths were 15,000, in the Second World War 51,000.
But we must thank God that post-1945 the nation does not have to deal with such staggering statistics. The statistics post-1992 have been significant not in great numbers, but rather in the terms of the emotional and psychological effects on our armed forces and their families.
The pain is proportionate and there is no denying that we have absorbed our awful share. Old veterans with or without medals stand with heads bowed and remember their mates and wear their poppies with pride. History will show that the same humanity and fighting spirit is still very prevalent in our modern day servicemen and women; in recent years we have suffered slow but steady losses in Iraq and Afghanistan, for many of us this has been like the dripping water torture.
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Remembrance: We pause to remember fallen mates and the wounded and traumatised and suffering and through theirs and our own experiences of combat and conflict, we try to cherish peace, in a free and democratic land.
Alongside my observations on silence and reflections on 30 years of service from December 1949 to January 1980, for me and many like me, two minutes' silence is enough and the second bugle trumpet call is the welcome return to normality and reality.
Medals, hymns, prayers, parades, poppies around Remembrance Day are a sure way to limit our exposure too much to reality, to silliness and silence; the act of Remembrance is the cost of the price of peace. The pain of bereavement and the joy of healing.
Throughout our island home, a grateful nation will stand in proud silence to thank them who paid the supreme sacrifice.
May they rest in peace in God's care.
"We will remember them."