This Sunday we stand as a nation in remembrance of those who died in two world wars and all conflicts since. Wreaths will be laid by veterans and the young alike in remembrance of those who gave themselves for the sake of the liberty and freedom we often take so much for granted.

This year’s remembrance has greater meaning as in 1918 at 11am this Sunday the weapons of war fell silent as after four years of bitter conflict and the loss of millions of lives the first world war came to an end. One of the major conflicts of that war was commemorated last year when 325,000 allied and 260,000 German casualties lost their lives.

Over 300 of the Welsh regiment fell in battle on the first day of Passchendaele in horrific conditions of heavy rainfall and seas of mud. Passchendaele was part of a war that was to have been the ‘war to end all wars. Sadly, that was not to be.

With the continued threat of terrorism and rising tensions in many parts of the world a lasting peace seems as far away as ever. That’s why we also remember those of our armed forces who still serve in many situations of danger in our deeply divided world. They too will be remembered in the prayers of a nation grateful for their dedication and service of their country. We also remember those veterans who suffered injury and trauma whose bravery we salute at this time. The Invictus games last month in Australia are a timely reminded of the fortitude, strength and courage of so many.

This Sunday, we also share the vision of a day when as the Bible says ‘they shall beat their swords into plough shares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. Two world wars and every conflict since have meant great sacrifice by some for the sake of others. How true the words of Jesus ‘No one can have greater love than to lay down his life for his friends’ with quiet gratitude and thanksgiving we wear our poppies and remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice in two world wars and the more recent conflicts.

Praying that peace will come to our troubled world and that Jesus the Prince of peace might reign in the hearts of all people.

‘At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them’

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