So this morning I attended the Remembrance Service at my local cenotaph, marching in the parade with my Brownie Guide Unit, as we do every year.
I take this occasion very seriously – it is to honour and pay our respects to the service men and women who so selflessly gave their lives so that we might live in freedom.
As I was getting ready to lay the Girl Guiding wreath, I noticed that the brass band in front of us, who had come from the secondary school I had attended, were being so disrespectful. During the time of prayer, one member (a teacher, I believe) was texting on his mobile phone and whispering to the woman next to him. The entire band seemed to use the prayer time to discuss their next performance.
During the minute silence, another member (again, a teacher, I think) applauded and congratulated one of her students for performing the Last Post solo, before going on to blow her nose, very loudly. I’m sorry, but whatever happened to the SILENCE part of the minute silence?!
I fear that the sanctity of our nation’s pride is slowly being taken away. With more and more names being added to these cenotaphs on a seemingly daily basis, one would assume that now, more than ever, the nation would unite as one and pay their respects, offering the reverence and dignity that these men and women deserve so much.
It is a privilege to participate in such an occasion and I am honoured to be able to lead my unit of young girls in remembering those who gave so much for them. It is a privilege for me to wear my uniform and be part of such a large-scale event, bringing the whole of the nation together. It is a privilege for me to lay the wreath of poppies, saluting my Guiding promise to the fallen – the greatest honour I can personally give them.
Humbly, and with the greatest respect and pride, I remember what they did, for us.
- They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
- Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
- At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
- We will remember them.