Remembrance Sunday – Britain Remembers
Thousands pay their respects in joint Remembrance services across Britain
Despite controversies surrounding International Football players and the US Presidential Election – the people of Britain rally behind the men and women who have sacrificed so much for the safe-guarding of our future.
Former and current servicemen gathered at the Cenotaph in Whitehall – alongside members of the Royal Family.
Churches, Village Squares, Cathedrals, Town Memorials
Although the attentions of the nation might well have been diverted during, what can only be described as, a turbulent week in the news; when the services were held on Sunday morning, thousands fell silent in honour for the countless lives that were sacrificed in service of our country.
20 people deep, the streets of Whitehall were packed with civilians who had come to pay their respects to the 700 or so servicemen that had turned out in full uniform to pay tribute to their fallen allies. Some 8,000 or so people were estimated to have filled the streets – come 11 o’clock all fell silent for a total of two minutes.
Those in the streets, reported the silence to have felt both solemn, yet strangely uplifting at the same time. A peculiar contradiction, at a time when the nation could be forgiven for not paying veterans the attention and respect they fully deserve.
Controversy is caused around Poppies
In the week leading up to the memorial services, discussion and debate was abound as international football players from England and Scotland were instructed not to wear Remembrance Poppies on their shirts for a World Cup Qualifying match. The international football governing body, FIFA, recently passed new rules regarding the wearing of ‘political or religious‘ symbols whilst on the pitch – with the iconic poppies falling under this banner somehow.
However – players, managers and supporters from both sides, defied these rules by wearing armbands and poppies on the match that took place on Saturday.
In other Poppy-related news, Nigel Farage (leader of UKIP) was blasted by the media for not being present in the country during the Remembrance period. Mr. Farage was photographed with the recently voted President-elect Donald Trump over the weekend – alongside other major UKIP notaries. It would appear that, despite his party’s Veterans focused rhetoric during the previous election, he chose to fly to the States to solidify a political connection – rather than paying his respects alongside the rest of the country.
Questions over the Government’s care for Veterans arise
At this time of year, although it is important that we consider the lives that have been sacrificed in decades past, during the World Wars that claimed the live of thousands of British men, it’s also a good time to start raising awareness for the veterans still living amongst us today – who may be struggling with disabilities or impairments that have led them to be discharged from military service.
In 2014, veterans charity Help For Heroes warned that up to 75,000 military personnel may have been physically injured, scarred or psychologically damaged from the time that they spent in conflict zones. This number is probably a great deal higher and something that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Defence Veterans Minister Mark Lancaster recently said that the Government is not considering creating a dedicated department for the welfare of Veterans, considering this a responsibility for the whole of the Government. Mr. Lancaster believes that the continued partnership between the Government and several charities is enough to look after the health and well being of veterans present and future.
Despite the news and controversies that have surrounded this year’s Remembrance Services – the turn out and respect afforded to those that have sacrificed so much for our safety has, once more, shown the British people’s respect for our Veterans.