Remembrance Sunday is the day traditionally put aside to remember all those who have given their lives for the peace and freedom we enjoy today. On this day people across the nation pause to reflect on the sacrifices made by our brave service men and women.
I am, of course, no different. I hold the Armed Forces in high regard having been a serving soldier myself and I am proud to have served my country. My husband and four of my sons have also been part of the forces and they have served in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Our army background goes back a long way on both sides and my grandfather and great-grandfather fought in both world wars. My great-grandfather came back from the Somme but died a few months later after suffering gangrene in his foot. My late grandfather, Justice Lane, was in the Royal Lancashire Fusiliers, served in Normandy and suffered several gunshot wounds in the process. There is a piece about him in the local paper, written after he returned home from the war:
The Burnley Express reported: –
“Fusilier Justice Stanley Lane, whose wife resides at 42, Belgrave Street, Burnley, is now in hospital in this country suffering from multiple gunshot wounds received in the fighting in Normandy. Fusilier Lane has been in the army four and a half years, having served two years in Ireland. For sometime before the outbreak of war he was living at Carlisle, Cumberland. As a boy he attended Sandygate School and won medals for both football and cricket playing with the school teams”.
I am extremely proud of my grandfather however, I didn’t know about the newspaper article until earlier this year when a family member contacted me after finding a local website dedicated for serving personal. I was so pleased to see that even after all these years my granddad hadn’t been forgotten and this small, but heart-warming tribute is very precious to me.
My Granddad, Justice Stanley Lane of the Royal Lancashire Fusiliers
Of course, Remembrance Sunday is not just remembering those who fell in the First and Second World War. The day is for all those who have fallen whilst serving their country. Since World War II we have suffered such conflicts as the Falkland’s War, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. For many of us, this day is a personal reminder of those we have lost and we all have our reasons as to why this day is so important. Indeed, the truth is we all have one thing in common. We all wish to honour the dead and support those who have recently lost a loved one due to fighting in a foreign country.
For many it is simply a time to give thanks to the very brave men and women who sacrificed everything so we could live a better life. It doesn’t matter how many years pass, we will never forget their sacrifice so we could live a life without tyranny.
Unlike last year, I didn’t travel down to London to visit the cenotaph in White Hall; instead I went to my local Remembrance Day Parade here, in Immingham, North East Lincolnshire. We have only recently moved here and I thought it was time I joined our local community and learned more about those who gave their lives and came from the town. When they read out the names of the fallen and the bugler played ‘The Last Post’ I can’t deny I felt a terrible wave of sadness. These people were all somebody’s sons and daughters and their loss must have been beyond devastating to their families. As a mother with sons in both the RAF and the Navy now, I just couldn’t imagine what they all went through. Standing at the cenotaph, I saw the family of Lance Corporal Mathew Ford, from the Commando Royal Marines who died in 2007 whilst serving in Afghanistan. Seeing his mother there made me feel very blessed that my own dear sons are thankfully still here with me but I felt such empathy for her.
When you go home tell them of us and say, for your tomorrow we gave our today …
I will never forget what these brave men and women did for our country. Also, I will try to ensure my own grandchildren will learn and understand why it is so important for us to celebrate Remembrance Sunday each year. I believe it is imperative that no one forgets the importance of this day and hopefully, the next generation, like so many before them, will keep the tradition alive for hundreds of years to come.