Saturday, 13 April 2013

Remembrance or 'Remembering them'?

Yesterday we held the funeral service of Albert William Vaughan, an eighty-nine year old man who had served in the Royal Marines and gone to war for his nation.

Many wished to celebrate his time as a Boot (14th April 1942 - 18th August 1952) and this was both fitting and right.

But this leaves some seventy-nine years unaccounted for. Well, not totally unaccounted for as we know that for the past twenty-one years this man lived in a nursing home where he was loved, cared for and was very much a part of a family. So we really only have fifty-eight years of blank sheet!

Every Remembrance Sunday (and perhaps Armistice Day too for some) we find ourselves standing somewhere, poppy proudly worn, responding to the wonderful poetry of Binyon, the climax being our proclamation:

We will remember them

But of course, if Albert is anything to go by, this is not the case.

Yesterday we honoured a man who had served and proudly worn a green beret (can it be worn any other way?)
Today many who have served this nation of ours at sea, on land and in the air in conflicts past and present (or in relative peace) are perhaps unknown. Some are isolated in their own homes, others cared for in nursing and care homes whilst many others (and one is too many) sleep rough and have no home, family or care.

Can I ask those of you who have church families to think about how you can touch the lives of those who have taken the bob and done the job?

Those of you who (perhaps proudly) have no faith to consider how you (and friends, families, colleagues) might repay the debt of gratitude we have for those who served.

Let's make 'We will remember them' mean something.

Let's work to make sure that 'Never Again!' means that (and not just here in Europe, but across the world).


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