This morning, on the day allocated, we paid homage to you. It was a beautiful service. Very moving, particularly the bugle sounding out The Last Post.
But when we got to the minutes silence I couldn’t help feeling cheated on your behalf. A minute. One measly minute. 60 seconds. Is that all we can spare for your sacrifice?
It seems unjust. It screams of unfairness. You laid down your lives to protect us and all we spare is a minute to remember you. It is wrong.
I know for a fact if it were my boy, my lad who had been killed in the service of his country I would be bereft. I would be weeping and wailing uncontrollably. To never see his face, see his smile, hear his voice again, I would not want to go on.
And yet that is how thousands of people feel today. Their children, or husbands and wives or other family members went to war. To fight for us, to protect our country. And they never returned.
I cannot imagine that sense of loss. Selfishly I don’t want to.
Whatever you think about war, whether you agree with it in certain cases or are a pacifist, whether you think it is a necessary evil or think there are no winners in wars, or whether you stand somewhere amongst all those options as I do the point is we owe them a debt of gratitude.
A debt of gratitude we can never repay. Because of them we are here today. We have a future. We can try to make the world a better place, without wars. Without suffering. Without displaced peoples and starving refugees.
But until then we remember you. We salute you. Thankyou.