“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.” (Binyon)
Across this nation these words have been recited in Acts of Remembrance.
As a church nationally and for me personally today is a very important day – a day on which we honour the dead and bring to mind that our Christian faith offers comfort and hope.
Remembrance Sunday is the only day every year when I am painfully aware of my nationality. The First and the Second World Wars overshadow the first part of the last century. Both arose from the aggression of my native country.
Being German makes this day for me a very important and at the same time a difficult and humbling one. I feel that it is my responsibility to make sure that we and future generations remember and never forget one of the darkest periods in history, that we remember and honour all those who have given their lives to free the world of this evil. I am very much aware that that the peace and freedom I am able to enjoy has been bought with the blood of many, many brave people who were prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice.
Time has moved on and hopefully we have learnt the lesson history taught us. This we must never forget. It is vital that we ensure that the stories of the people who fought in the wars live on. We are losing our last witnesses of the first of these terrible wars, therefore it becomes more important to make sure that we listen to what those have to say who witnessed the Second World War before it is too late. We have to listen and remember and learn.
Time has moved on. Where we are we live in peace and freedom though the threat of terror has arrived on our doorstep.
Time has moved on but wars and conflicts are still the sad and cruel reality of our world today.
Time has moved on and we need to remember all who are prepared to pay the price with their lives in the conflicts and wars in this world: the soldiers, the civilians and those who fight in the resistance from within.
War can never be an easy solution and must be the ultimate means in a higher course. We need to watch out that the conflicts we enter follow a just cause, happen with proper authority, have the right intention, have the probability of success and use proportionate means.
The highest commandment is the love of God and his creation and that must be our measure at all times.
We need to be vigilant and critical. Our leaders and the leaders of all nations and all who are in authority need our prayers that God may guide them in difficult decisions.
The peace we bring can offer freedom, security and the absence of war.
Yet the ultimate and perfect peace comes from God alone. God has paid the ultimate price in the death of his Son on the cross.
While we are looking forward to God’s kingdom we need to learn from our past and answer the above with this promise: We will remember them.
Rev. Verena Breed