We're in the month of November. The clocks have gone back, the darker evenings have come and the mood of life has become more sombre. Gone are the sun filled days of summer, and in the darker days of November we remember those who have died in war. We will gather in Churches and by War Memorials to remember the fallen.
Two lines from a poem “Anthem for Doomed Youth” by Wilfred Owen, one of the greatest of the First World War Poets, seem to capture the essence of remembrance.
The first of the lines is: “And bugles calling for them from sad shires.” On Remembrance Sunday the buglers will play and we will bow our heads in sorrow and remember the war dead. The second of the lines is: “And each slow dusk a drawing down of blinds.” These words remind us of our respect for the sacrifice for those who died in war and the emptiness of life without them.
We remember the dead, and then what happens, how do we respond to the sacrifices made by so many millions of people? Some words from Sir Winston Churchill may well focus our thoughts. In the darkest days of the Second World War he expressed the desire for peace after war in these words that “The life of the world may move forward into broad sunlit uplands.”
How close are we to living in those sunlit uplands of peace? Remembering those who died in war should mean that we take on a responsibility to work tirelessly for peace. What more fitting memorial can there be that future generations should live in the broad sunlit uplands of peace because of our dedication to walking the paths of peace in memory of the fallen?