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It is vital for the world to mark the centenary of the WWI Armistice

PUBLISHED: 07:30 28 October 2018 | UPDATED: 11:04 06 November 2018

Ipswich major Jane Riley helped to launch this year's Poppy Appeal. Picture: SONYA DUNCAN

Ipswich major Jane Riley helped to launch this year's Poppy Appeal. Picture: SONYA DUNCAN


On Saturday Suffolk officially launched this year’s Remembrance build-up – in what is almost certainly the most significant Armistice season that any of us can remember.

It is right to remember the sacrifices of the military during the Armistice anniversary. Picture; SONYA DUNCANIt is right to remember the sacrifices of the military during the Armistice anniversary. Picture; SONYA DUNCAN

We’re marking the Centenary of the Armistice that ended the First World War, and the crowds that turn out on November 11 (which happens to be a Sunday this year) are expected to be the largest ever.

I’m not someone from a “military family.” My grandfather fought in the First World War, but he only ever talked about it once to me.

I had friends at school whose fathers were in the Army, but it never occurred to me for a millisecond to consider a military career – we had a Combined Cadet Force at school but I was one of the minority who didn’t join it because I always knew I would not be joining the forces, whatever I did!

But over recent years, and having covered many Remembrance Sunday services in Christchurch Park, I have come to appreciate more and more just how important it is to remember those who have gone into battle for their country.

And I don’t think I’m the only one. The amount raised by the Royal British Legion continues to go up year on year – and I’m sure the numbers who attend the ceremony at Ipswich’s Cenotaph continue to go up.

I’ll be there again in a fortnight. I’ll be covering the event even though I’m not down to work that weekend because I would be there anyway. I really don’t see it as being too much of an imposition to spend one morning a year paying my respects to those who have been killed or injured in battle.

No right-thinking person likes the idea of war, members of the armed forces and their families probably hate the idea of war even more than the rest of the population – they are the ones at the sharp end of any conflict.

But they have a vital role in any human society and it is right that others should recognise that vital role.

Like many people I’m interested in what happened during the wars. I’m fascinated by museums like Duxford and the IWM in London. I’ve been watching many of the war documentaries on recently and I’m looking forward to seeing Peter Jackson’s re-mastering of old First World War films. No one wants to glorify war – but we must never forget the sacrifices made.

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