November 2021

We have heard for ourselves, O God, our predecessors have told us the deeds you performed in their time, how in bygone days you saved us
from our enemies. [Psalm 44:1, 7a]

“Do you remember when we came here before?” Ted often says. I try to remember; I rack my brains but it is no good. The occasion has been completely forgotten as if it never happened. I do remember lots of things, usually useless facts, but I forget many others, names in particular. I am sure I am not the only one. Things that we really ought to remember have that infuriating habit of disappearing from our minds just when we really need to recall them the most and so we resort to bits of paper, sticky notes or some form of technology, hoping beyond hope that something might jog our memories.

Such, increasingly, is the rationale behind Remembrance Day. Every year the number of those who lived through one or both of the World Wars diminishes, yet for that reason perhaps the occasion becomes more rather than less important. We only have to witness the horrors of Bosnia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria (to name just a few since 1945) to realise that things have not changed as much as we would like to think. Some dare even to suggest that the horrors of the Holocaust never actually happened, thus dismissing at a stroke the suffering, horror, terror and anguish endured by so many millions of individuals.

The fact is that we cannot afford to forget the past. Remembrance Day does not glorify war but rather recalls the price of peace, reminding us of the evils and inhumanity that some people can stoop to and the sacrifice so many have had to make to ensure that such tyranny does not triumph. It intentionally pushes such things into our consciousness – lest we forget.

God bless,

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