I have no idea as I write this letter as to whether – by the time you read it – we will still be part of Europe – love it, or loathe it. What I do know is that on the 10th of this month at 10.15 am we will gather as a community in St Thomas’ Church to remember those who have died in war. Some in our parish remember family members and friends lost in those conflicts more than half a century ago. Some remember loved ones lost in more recent conflicts, or on a peace keeping and humanitarian missions. We meet on the 10th to remember them.
Last year we commemorated 100 years since Armistice Day which ended the first World War. The world did not learn from that war, and it is estimated that 70–85 million people perished in World War 2, 3% of the total world population. Although we continue to honour those who died in WW1, it is no longer with living memories, and I think that will change the nature of future Remembrance Day services.
I want to share a story with you. It’s called ‘Tusk Tusk’ by David McKee.
Once upon a time, long long ago, all the elephants in the world were black or white. They loved all creatures … but they loathed each other, and each kept to their own side of the jungle.
One day the black elephants decided to kill all the white elephants. And the white ones decided to kill the black. The peace-loving elephants from each side went to live deep in the darkest jungle. They were never seen again.
A battle began. It went on and on and on, until there were no elephants left. For years no elephants were seen. Then one day the grandchildren of the peace-loving elephants came out of the jungle. They were grey. Since then the elephants have lived in peace. But some of the grey elephants noticed that they had different shaped ears to some of the others. The End.
On 10th November, we will remember with pride those who have died in war, to bring peace to our nation, and other nations. As always we hope and pray for peace in our world. That is why I shall be wearing a white poppy alongside the red on Remembrance Sunday.