Yes, there is something to be said for remembrance. But too often, it’s easier to examine the past than to focus on the present – and work for changes that make it safer for all our families to be safe when we are away at work or school
On Sunday, veterans of all wars will gather in their thousands to remember those who have given their lives for our freedoms, so that we may continue to live in the UK and pursue life’s ambitions with confidence and glee.
It is something I feel extremely privileged to do, along with every other person born in the UK. I’m fortunate in my position as an MP to take part in the annual In Bloom competition, enjoy the opera and taking part in so many social events for which I am proud, but it’s a privilege that I hope my parents and brothers never have to give up.
It’s also a privilege that I think about my mother every day. She survived the second world war. She was a woman of very little means and kept everyone safe in my family. She now looks much older than she did when she was fighting in the trenches, and our family all looked up to her. Remembrance Day is always a time to reflect, and sometimes that can be hard if you’re a member of a very close family, like mine. So I recommend that you make the effort to join in with your local group. Maybe you attend one of their events, take part in discussions in a local pub, or simply write to the secretary of the day, and ask what they’re doing to keep alive the memory of veterans in the community.
I’m not saying that every Remembrance Sunday is very emotional, but the message that these groups are putting out to our communities is important. Although I am privileged to have so many individuals who lived through the war volunteering their time for good, that’s not something that’s permanent. Remembrance Day should be a time for respect, but there is so much more to be done.
Yes, there is something to be said for remembrance. But too often, it’s easier to examine the past than to focus on the present, and work for changes that make it safer for all our families to be safe when we are away at work or school.
I very much hope that on Remembrance Sunday we will show our respect for our veterans and remember what they gave, but also to keep reminding ourselves of what we need to do for our own future.
• Dan Rogerson represents Colchester in the House of Commons