Remembrance Day

Here in the UK, we take a minute’s silence on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. The idea is that we step out of our daily routine to think, pray for and remember the many people who have fought for our country’s freedom, and who still fight today. We wear a poppy; a symbol originating from the First World War. The poppy was the first sign of life to break through the barren, war-torn fields, and is therefore seen as a sign of hope.

Remembrance Day is not a celebration of war and violence, but an acknowledgement of the people who give up their lives to ensure our safety, and a way of showing our respect for their sacrifice. It’s not a day to debate pacifism or politics, but to remember the horrors of war that people go through for our sake. Vast numbers of men and women have chosen to put their lives on the line for the sake of their countries, and that’s not something we can or should erase from our history.

Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.
They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
-from Laurence Binyon’s ‘For the Fallen
There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
-John 15:13

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