Today is Remembrance Day, a date in the diary we are unlikely to forget.
An occasion to remember those that have laid down their lives in service of their country – and continue to put themselves in harms way to defend our liberties.
The events of the past week, surrounding the way the England football team should be allowed to pay their respects by wearing a poppy on their shirts, has highlighted our rather British sense of ensuring proper respects are always paid on this of all occasions.
In the past it has been TV presenters not appearing with poppies that attracted the ire of the public, and more recently protests by groups such as the now banned Muslims Against Crusades (who burned poppies in protest in London last year).
Leaving aside the acts of publicity and hatred; such debate about how we remember our fallen heroes brings up strong emotions, even as we near a century since Flanders where so many fought and lost during the Great War. And rightly so – it should not be deemed an easy act to fight and if needed, make a sacrifice in service of ones country.
Today of all days we should salute those that paid the ultimate sacrifice – and have in our minds serving troops at home and abroad who face daily hardships working to bring peace in harsh environments.
The wearing of a poppy is a simple way of remembering our fallen heroes and supporting the Royal British Legion, an act that in some small way can make a big difference to the lives of those hurt in war, in particular those currently serving in Afghanistan where 365 British troops have been killed over the past 10 years.
Historically it brings with it thoughts and recognition for those who enabled us to live our lives the way we do today, and in the present a sign of support to those currently serving that their actions too will not be forgotten.
As a Territorial, I’ll be taking great pride in wearing my uniform and remembering those who have fallen for our country at a Remembrance Day parade this Sunday.