Remembrance Day is a time when we come together to remember the suffering and sacrifice of war. We pay tribute to those who proudly served their country, in conflicts not of their making and on this day, more than any other, we pray for peace.
I attend events throughout the year to represent the people I am elected to serve. For me, Remembrance Day is the event that has the most meaning and is the most powerful.
We feel the terrible sadness of a lost generation, their hope, their future, the possibility of what might have been, cut down. Our sadness is exacerbated by the knowledge, that terrible wars are still fought, people still suffer the brutality of war and lessons seem never to be learned. This year, the Act of Remembrance was even more poignant as we see intractable conflict, leading to hate and division on our streets. The juxtaposition of then and now, of what they gave up for us and the awful sense that we squandered the legacy bequeathed to us, serves only to heighten that loss.
But despite that deep sadness, there is a unifying sense of connectedness; connectedness with those that came before us, and with those who will come after we are gone. We feel a shared duty to the next generation and a deep sense of belonging to our community. At that moment of Remembrance, we are one. We demonstrate the shared values that connect us across every divide and shared aspirations for a better tomorrow. Just as those who went to war, today, we too must strive to build a better future for the those that come after us - that is the powerful legacy the war dead left us.
It is always a privilege to stand in Telford Town Park on Remembrance Sunday, the autumn trees, the silence, the simple, but powerful memorial stone, people joining together to show respect. Or standing under Aqueduct Bridge, remembering the names of the sons of Aqueduct who never came home. Remembrance gives me hope and strengthens my faith in the essential goodness of humanity.