Thoughts on Remembrance
Today is a day for the community to come together. It is not a day for partisan comment. I will not be posting anything partisan today and will leave my reactions to yesterday's events in London until tomorrow.
Today we remember all those who have lost their lives in the service of our country and of freedom, including not just people from Britain but from the former Empire, the Commonwealth and from our allies.
Today we remember the price of freedom and security.
My grandfather and father grew up in Darwen, Lancashire. Near my grandfather's house in Darwen is Bold Venture park, which has this beautiful war memorial.
Darwen is not a particularly large town. But this memorial does not carry a list of names. Instead it has this:
Both my grandfather, and his brother Robert served in the Great War. I exist because my grandfather, who served in the Royal Army Medical Corps with Allonby's army in the Middle East, made it back home.
His brother Robert didn't come back - he was one of the 1,200 citizens of Darwen who gave their lives. Fusilier Robert Whiteside, Lancashire Fusiliers, He was killed six weeks before the end of the war, at the age of 18.
I cannot begin to imagine what losing 1,200 people did to Darwen, but it does not take the deductive powers of a Sherlock Holmes to realise that it was a disaster for the town.
Each human life is precious and the loss of thousands of human lives in war is a terrible thing. The purpose of Remembrance Sunday is not just to commemorate the loss of those who died, to make sure they are never forgotten, but to make sure we all understand the cost of war.