HOW rapidly time passes as we grow older! Why Easter seems like only yesterday, and yet October has now passed and Poppy Day already upon us!
I often wonder what our Spanish hosts make of our apparent infatuation with this small red flower, and from such conversations as I’ve had, many seem to be of the mistaken opinion that we’re merely revelling in the past; celebrating the achievements of a once powerful British Empire.
And some I’ve recently spoken to had even concluded it was related to our anticipated departure from Europe!
But all this of course is far from the truth. For whilst there may indeed be an element of celebration that we have been spared to live our lives in freedom, the primary consideration of Remembrance-tide is that of gratitude to the many thousands who over the years have given themselves to ensure we have that freedom.
The efforts, the pain, the suffering and sacrifice of so many, not just in two World Wars, but even now as they seek to protect us from much of the potential horror of modern terrorism, surely deserves our gratitude, our donations and a little at least, of our time as we remember them at the Services held in conjunction with the Royal British Legion for Armistice Day on November 11 and on Remembrance Sunday, which this year is the following day.
And as on Armistice Day we listen again to that reading from the 15th chapter of John’s Gospel: “Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends”, I’m sure that many will rightly reflect, not just on those of the armed forces who gave their lives on our behalf, but also on all those we love who are no longer with us, remembering their lives too with gratitude.
And for those of us who are Christians, we will necessarily be reminded of the love of Jesus himself, the original author of these words, spoken as he prepared to give his life to win our eternal freedom from the consequences of all the wrong things we so often do.
So let’s now wear our poppies with pride and gratefully remember all to whom we owe so much.