Today was a day of many emotions: Solemnity,pride,sadness,love and loss.
I have taken part in the wreath laying ceremony for the last three years at our local memorial, set in one of our most beautiful parks. The crowds each year have grown. Partly, one hopes, due to a growing respect for the armed forces and the fallen from all wars, but I cannot deny, many are there to remember those they have lost and that number too is sadly growing.
It was also a day to remember the young. We saw many, too many young people who were rightly proud to be marching in uniform, preparing to follow their friends and families to war. It was saddening to see the enthusiasm with which they looked forward to risking their precious young lives. Serving your country is a very big commitment and a very honorable one too but it is still sad to see so many of our fine young citizens, our futures, leaving their families like this.
I spent some time with my family and friends this weekend, both made me glad to have them. My friend was a great help and went above and beyond in helping us move my youngest child into her first independent home. It was a mix of emotions again. Pride in seeing her take the biggest step into adulthood and sorrow at leaving her , with her fiancé, in their own place, alone.
Working together was a refreshing exercise, unity in a common cause is always good. Unity in fighting a common enemy, whether an awkward sofa, an invading force or an oppressive regime, is always good.
Today I watched the news before leaving for the Remembrance Service. On a day when we remember those who fought and gave their lives to ensure our freedom, it was warming to see two examples of the value of freedom. One, the release of a political activist imprisoned in her own home for expressing her views publicly, something we all take for granted in this country, the other a married couple who were released by their Somalian Pirate captors. The biggest torture they suffered was to be forced apart and held in isolation.
It is the simple act of being able to suffer whatever life may throw at you with your loved one by your side that makes such a difference. Comrades in arms know this already. People fight as a unit. People love as a unit. People survive better as a unit.
Seeing all those faces, of all ages, all background and all races, united together for one common cause made me consider that maybe, just maybe, we haven’t booked that one way hand basket ride to hell quite yet.
And for that, I am grateful.