YEP Says: Nation pauses in remembrance to honour the fallen

PIC: James Hardisty
PIC: James Hardisty
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REMEMBRANCE Sunday was observed with all the dignity the occasion deserved in this most poignant of anniversary years.

From the national commemorations led by the Queen at the Cenotaph to the services held at war memorials across Yorkshire, the nation paused with heads bowed and fell silent for two minutes at 11am to remember the fallen.

This year’s commemorations, both yesterday and on Armistice Day, had particular resonance for Yorkshire.

A century ago, at the beginning of the Battle of the Somme, it was our county’s volunteer battalions which went over the top first in one of the bloodiest episodes of the Great War and suffered grievously.

Their sacrifice on that summer’s day in 1916 haunts us still, summing up as it does the horrors of war.

But our remembrance should not only be for those who fell long ago.

A key theme of this year’s remembrance commemorations organised by the Royal British Legion has been to remind the country that our Armed Forces continue to make the ultimate sacrifice.

It is a sobering statistic that since the end of the Second World War, 12,000 service personnel have been killed in the line of 
duty.

The losses have continued into our own age, with the fallen of conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Nor must we ever forget the survivors of conflict, those men and women with life-changing physical injuries or psychological trauma.

They continue to bear the scars of war.

All deserve our gratitude and respect. It is heartening that Britain embraces the remembrance commemorations ever more widely.

This year, more poppies than ever before were on sale, 36 million of them, raising vital funds for the care and support of Armed Forces veterans.

Such practical measures are a central part of the commemorations.

But so is simply pausing to remember with thankfulness.

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