On the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month I observed a two-minute silence before laying a wreath at the Cinderford War Memorial.
On this Armistice Day, we reflect on the dedication of servicemen and women from across the Forest of Dean, missing time with their loved ones to keep us safe, risking injury and, in some cases, making the ultimate sacrifice. Our armed forces have always been – and always will be – committed to protect us, our freedoms and our society’s way of life. We owe them a debt of gratitude.
For the last 17 years, I have joined the local community on Remembrance Sunday at one of the various services held around the Forest of Dean, and will certainly attend many more of them in the years to come. This year, however, I have been invited to the National Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph on Whitehall, London and will pay my respects alongside His Majesty The King, the Royal Family, the Prime Minister, veterans and other senior military and political leaders.
Earlier this week, I planted the Forest of Dean’s cross at the Constituency Garden of Remembrance in the House of Commons. I dedicated our tribute to Beachley’s 1st Batallion The Rifles, and took a moment to reflect on their sacrifice over five tours of Iraq and Afghanistan, and numerous other operations, particularly in the Middle East, North and West Africa and Eastern Europe. I thank them also for the critical role they played all over the UK in our COVID effort. They are currently on deployment in Kenya and I wish them a safe time there, and also in Cyprus where they will be deployed next year before their return to Beachley.
I know times are difficult at the moment but please do support the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal by donating whatever you can and wearing a poppy to reflect on the sacrifices of those who serve - past, present and future.