Heroes deserve constant thanks
Last updated at 13:35, Tuesday, 03 July 2012
THERE wasn’t an Armed Forces Day when I was at school. And for the life in me, I can’t imagine why.
We went to church for Remembrance, wore poppies for servicemen and women who had died, stood silently at war memorials with widows and mothers who cried.
But we were never encouraged to think deeply about men and women who had chosen to serve their country in the armed forces.
What we know as Armed Forces Day now has only existed for four years.
Last weekend people joined servicemen and women and veterans of military forces in thought of the purpose of duty and the gratitude owed to those who selflessly embrace it. That didn’t used to happen.
It wasn’t as though we weren’t aware of what was happening in Northern Ireland and even further afield, where men and women of service and duty were risking life and limb to safeguard our freedoms.
It wasn’t as though we didn’t know how our fathers and grandfathers had served various campaigns in two world wars and – in my own father’s case – in the Middle East.
But open discussion of war and the work of UK armed forces around the world, promoting peace, delivering aid, tackling drug smugglers, providing security and fighting terrorism were shied away from.
Perhaps accusations of glorification of war were feared. Maybe it was felt pretty little heads should be kept free of thoughts of fighting.
More likely, the detail of duty’s awesome burden; understanding of service people’s enormous gift to country and population was deliberately hidden from young people in what was erroneously referred to as peacetime. Thank God that has changed. Now, with media concentration so closely focused on the courage and sacrifice of our armed forces, there is no avoiding consideration of those who choose to offer their all to their country.
That’s precisely as it should always have been. There never was a peacetime – not for those who volunteered to give us one; who fought and died to offer hope of one. To them we owe not one annual Armed Forces Day of thought and thanks, not one weekend a year of parading and prayer. We owe continuous gratitude for their sacrifice in our name and for our benefit.
First published at 13:21, Tuesday, 03 July 2012
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
Have your say
Thankyou Anne for this column a great piece.I wonder if many have read it though,strangely no other comments.Maybe too interested in Dog muck,that topic always gets plenty of comments! As you have said Armed Forces Day is a fantastic way to say thank you to our brave Servicemen and servicewomen.We as a military family celebrated the day thousands of miles away alongside people who care as much as you Anne....Cheers!
Ask Barrow concil why they dont support troops.I have paid 75% concil tax on my empty house for 13 years now, even though I have never lived in it. Barrow council are one of the only councils that do not offer a 50-75% reduction, even the Welsh and Scots recognise this, cheers Barrow council for charging me Â£1000 a year for the priviledge of never living here!!!!!