We will remember them:
In the modern world, great wars and conflicts of the past may, for many, seem a distant memory. Since the end of the Second World War in 1945, one could argue that the world has been in the constant grip of political pressure; ‘warfare’ being led, during the latter part of the 20th Century, by espionage from the shadows rather than personnel on the front line.
This said, you need look no further back than to 1998, where the ‘Troubles’ in Ireland came to a conclusion, and to all the men and women serving overseas in Iraq, Afghanistan, Africa and the Baltics, to see modern warfare in action. Men and women continue to lay down their lives for the betterment of not just their country, but also of the world. Many modern missions involve Peace Keeping or Crisis Aid rather than ‘formal’ conflict, but these can be somewhat hidden from view as these conflicts are often in distant countries.
A very good friend of my father (both ex-services men), posted a comment online during Sunday’s Remembrance a few years ago. It simply said:
“I am a Veteran, who at one point in my life wrote a blank cheque to the United Kingdom for an amount of up to, and including, my life.”
These men and women lay their lives down for the betterment of us all, and we are often guilty of not appreciating the day to day liberties we have gained due to their endeavours. Their work is even more pronounced during the current COVID-19 crisis, where many have stepped in to aid the NHS, running field and drive through testing facilities, and Army doctors aiding in front-line COVID-19 facilities alongside their civilian peers.
It is vital in this day and age that we do not forget the lessons of the past, and to remember those who fought for how we live today. Whether one agrees or disagrees with conflict or the presence of the Armed Forces on the world stage, all of us have benefited from the work they did, and the lives they laid down. Soldiers will continue to support us all in ways not easily recognised, and I believe we must continue to pay our respects to them all.
On Remembrance Sunday 2020, TSI joined with their peers at Taunton School in a service of remembrance, with another service due to take place on the 11th itself, Remembrance Day. This year marks the 75th Anniversary of VE and VJ days (Victory in Europe and Victory in Japan), making it a pronounced year of remembrance for many and one of vital importance for our community going forward.
As the commonly spoken phrase from Binyon’s poem ‘For the Fallen’ says:
‘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.’
Ben Wilkinson, GRA, TSI