15th November 2014

I am looking forward to Remembrance Day on Sunday. I will go to lay my wreaths at four of our local war memorials and I know that I will see an enormous number of people, young and old, solemn and dedicated in their act of remembrance.

You might have seen the inspirational display of poppies at the Tower of London – a sea of red stretching across the moat. Enormous in its scale, enormous in its symbolism. Each poppy a life lost in the First World War - a powerful and moving representation of the sacrifice made by almost a million people a hundred years ago.

Just as I was overwhelmed by the number of poppies so I was also heartened by the number of people who queued for hours to see them.

That is why I am optimistic about Remembrance Day. It is a day of sadness but also a day of hope.

Sad because we are contemplating the thousands of men and women who have, over many years and in many wars, given their lives fighting for our freedom. Hopeful because vast numbers of people stop for a few minutes to remember. Hopeful because we are pledging never to forget the loss and suffering that comes from war. Hopeful because the next generation, as they say, “We will remember them”, has the chance to learn from the mistakes of the past.

We have been so fortunate to have lived in peace and freedom for over half a century. But peace and freedom come at a price. On Sunday we will count that price. Let us value it highly and work together to cherish and preserve the peace and freedom so dearly bought by our brave forefathers.

Eleanor on Twitter

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