Why Remembering Remembrance Day can be hard
Remembrance Day is a time when people gather to stand together, to remember, reflect and give thanks for everyone who sacrificed so much for the lives we all enjoy today. Officially, it marks the day that the Great War ended November 11th, 1918. Little did they know that Great would become First as the Second World War got underway just over twenty years later, both becoming the biggest military conflicts in human history.
Remembering can be hard
Remembering is hard. Hard to imagine what it must have been like to send a son, husband or father off to war. Hard to imagine what they had to face, suffer and overcome. Harder still to imagine what it felt like when they didn’t come home, or how the men felt when they realised they wouldn’t.
Of course, life goes on and those who died for us wouldn’t want generations held back by sadness and mourning, but remembering is important. Lessons must be learnt and memories preserved, a place to return to when perspectives become blurred, particularly in times like today when so much feels unsettled.
Jesus said (Matthew 5), “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted,” which is what we do for each other as we remember. He also said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God,” which is a wonderful way to think not just of those who died, but who fought and took part. Not just in the two World Wars but in all the conflicts that have followed. If they hadn’t fought for us, we wouldn’t be enjoying the peaceful existence today that all of us are fortunate enough to take for granted.
Doubly Thankful Herodsfoot
In Herodsfoot, Remembrance Day is almost like it is in every other village across Cornwall, with one very notable exception. The war memorial they gather around has names on, but not of the dead. It commemorates all those who went off to fight, in both wars, but who also came home again. It is one of a handful of places in the UK, and the only one in Cornwall, that is ‘Doubly Thankful’ as everyone who fought in both wars survived.
Cathy Gough, treasurer of the All Saints Herodsfoot PCC said, “I really think it is a Thankful Village as my son served in Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan and returned safely.”
If you have any stories or memories around World War One, we would love to hear them. We are hoping to produce a booklet next year to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of the war, featuring local stories and recollections. Please get in touch by email
Please click here for a list of Remembrance services throughout Cornwall.