Today is Remembrance Sunday and our thoughts turn to those who gave their lives for freedom and democracy in two World Wars. I am occasionally shocked at how little some people know about the two wars, as they gradually recede out of memory and into the pages of the history books.
When I was at school history stopped at 1914 but nowadays most school children study the Second World War. However, too many seem to leave school with no understanding of the causes, events or sacrifices of either World War.
Remembrance Sunday is more than about the two World Wars. It has also become in recent years a chance to remember those who have given their lives in the more recent conflicts such as the Falklands War, as well as Gulf Wars 1 and 2, and now of course Afghanistan. As the death toll mounts, so does the list of grieving families and the injured. It is the latter that are so often forgotten by the media and the politicians. As a rough estimate, for every one death, three are injured. They bear the scars in their bodies and minds for the rest of their lives.
Whilst the memory of the two Worlds Wars may be fading, for many people therefore Remembrance Sunday has a new and very fresh meaning to them. On this Remembrance Sunday let us remember all those who have died in the course of serving this country in armed conflict but also those who have been injured and maimed in the course of their duty.
This country and others owes them a huge debt of gratitude.