On Sunday my husband and I attended a Remembrance Service at St Georges Church in Arreton. Yes I’m a pagan and I attended a Christian Church service and guess what I didn’t burst into flames!
For me my attendance to this service had nothing to do with it being a religious service, but to do with honouring the millions who have served and died for their country Including members of my own family. For as long as I can remember I would attend church with my dad (if he was home from sea) on this day. When I ran my scouting groups I would always encourage my scouting troops to attend the village church and take part in the uniformed organisation parade afterwards. Since moving to the island I have missed attending these services. I mentioned this last year to a friend who immediately invited us to join her and her family for the service and a Sunday luncheon afterwards with the members of The Burma Star Association. We had a lovely afternoon chatting with the older people of the community, looking through old scrapbooks that someone had bought along, enjoying a fabulous meal and some great company. Neither my husband or I have any living grandparents so we rarely have the opportunity to spend time with people from older generations. Many of the people who attended the luncheon have lost their husbands or wives and live alone. Their lives were so different to ours and I love listening to their stories and knowing that for one day at least they have not been alone.
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
John McCrae 1915