Kent Messenger Column – 16-11-17
To lay a wreath at the annual Remembrance Sunday service in Maidstone is one of the great honours that I experience within my role as your MP. It is humbling to commemorate the sacrifices made by our forebears, whilst standing as one with representatives from our community and the military personnel who continue to protect us today.
At a time when there is such great threat within our world, Remembrance Sunday has never been more important. It is essential that we pause to remember the horrors of war and truly appreciate the unprecedented period of relative peace we are presently experiencing in this country.
That is also why, for the last three years, we have been commemorating the centenary of the First World War, and it was my privilege to be the Minister responsible for the programme back in 2014. You may recall a moving moment at the launch of the events where people across the UK turned out their lights, bringing the country to darkness, as the war commenced 100 years previously.
Now we approach 2018 and our focus rightly turns toward the centennial of the end of that terrible conflict, the Armistice next November.
This week I heard about a project known as the 'Battle's Over – A Nation's Tribute'. The highlight will see communities across Great Britain ringing church bells and lighting beacons to mark the end of the war. The beacons will symbolise the light of hope that emerged from the darkness of WWI, in contrast with the dimming of the lights four years previously.
There's more about that particular project and how to get involved here, but I would also encourage people to plan other ways to mark next year's crucial anniversary; a moment of hope and victory in the face of darkness and adversity. For more information on the centenary and stories from the war, visit the Government's dedicated page.
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