I was up in time, and I had opportunity to get there. But I didn’t go.
Instead, I went to a Remembrance Day service. There was a garrison parade, there was a service. Prayers were offered, a padre reflected on caring, the Last Post and Reveille were bugled. The bands played, wreaths were laid at a cenotaph, hymns were sung, two-minutes silence was observed at 11.00.
It was exactly where I needed to be.
It was a way to, in the words of our Primate Fred Hiltz, “honour all who have died in the service of our country and the freedom of the world.” It was a time to pray, to give thanks of the sacrifice of others. It was a time to see old friends, to share stories, to publicly wear the poppy.
It was a day to remember.
It is not a time to celebrate war, or promote violence; it is the opposite, in fact. It is a day to acknowledge those who have selflessly given up their lives, their hearts and energies to try to make the world a better place. They have been willing to do the difficult action of fighting for peace and justice.
Whatever your personal belief of the military, and of the Day dedicated to Remembrance, I hope and pray that we might all take time for prayer. Let us pray for God’s world, for our relatively peaceful place within it. If nothing else, let us together pray (in our hearts and minds) the prayer for our Armed Forced from the BAS:
Almighty God, we commend to your gracious care and keeping all the men and women of our armed forces at home and abroad. Defend them day by day with your heavenly grace; strengthen them in their trials and temptations; give them courage to face the perils which beset them; and grant them a sense of your abiding presence wherever they may be; through Jesus Christ our Lord.