My grandfather fought at The Somme but died when I was a little boy. My late mother was only thirteen when the Second World War ended. I have no memory whatever of those wars that our annual Remembrance Sunday first commemorated. There is, however, no sign of these commemorations disappearing with the generations who lived through the great wars of the twentieth century. What, though, do we mean today, by ‘remember’?
Literature, photography and film-making preserve our awareness of the sacrifices made during the world wars. Subsequent conflicts continue to take the lives of those serving in the armed forces. We remember what we have learned about the horrors of past wars and we remember those who, today, put their lives on the line, often in the cause of peace in distant countries. We remember and honour servicemen and women who lay aside their personal safety for the sake of others.
Images of the Christian Soldier are less popular than once they were, but it is worth remembering that a soldier fights for king and kingdom, never for self but always for the rights and wellbeing of those who cannot fight for themselves. Ought we not all to be soldiers of Christ and of his advancing Kingdom?