I cannot begin to comprehend the courage of soldiers and civilians caught up in war. It is surely our duty to remember those who have given their lives in the Armed Forces and their families and to pray for and support them. It is important to hear the voices and the stories of those who have been and are experiencing war, civilians and refugees as well as military personnel. As my father used to remind us every year, it is no good just regretting the fact that war has happened and still does. His life-long belief was that we must do something to work to prevent it and to support those who are unwittingly and unwillingly caught up in its horrors, bearing the consequential mental, physical and social scars for the rest of their lives. He used to say that the best kind of remembrance was for everyone to do some small thing to make their own contibution to goodwill between people. Dad's way of 'doing something' was to volunteer as a Samaritan and to get involved with local politics classes over many years. He and Mum never missed an opportunity to vote and took their responsibilities to the democratic system and to international aid very seriously indeed.
I've recently been reading Kate Adie's autobiography and reflecting on the number of conflicts there have been since the second world war. Huge numbers of people suffer the ravages of wars we scarcely hear about or give a second thought to every year. Medics spend their energy coming up with the most astonishing life-saving techniques for a small number of individuals while other great swathes of population die from diesease, starvation and violence. In the quiet of the evening, let us pray