And so another superb Remembrance Weekend has been acknowledged. Pathfinder International and Left Right Left Editor, Mal Robinson, provides his review of Remembrance Weekend 2017.
2017 saw me attend my first Remembrance event in the UK since leaving the Royal Air Force on 2011. A combination of work and working away, meaning attendance to remember the fallen and support the current generation of troops, has been limited.
And so I opted to attend my local Remembrance ceremony in Sunderland city centre – one of the biggest ceremonies to be held outside of the Cenotaph, London. It didn’t fail to disappoint.
I decided to wear my medals, why not? Many others do, there was a part of me perhaps shared by many veterans, of the sense we don’t like attention on what we’ve done, after all, we signed up to do a job. Yet this day felt different and I was glad to have worn them, standing side by side thousands of other former troops, resplendent in their own silverware.
As I say, it was the first time I’d attended a parade in the UK since leaving the forces and this allowed me to see firsthand the genuine support from the public and from the veterans towards each other. Wearing my medals, it made me feel part of that unique club that is the military once more. Once you have served, no matter how long, you are a member for life.
To cap it all off on a personal note, it was nice to see the Royal Corps of Signals TA Band, leading the march past, with expected pomp and precision. This was my Dad’s band, one he developed as Band Sergeant Major and one he actually helped save, when MOD cuts were on the horizon. I hadn’t realised they were to be in attendance on the day. And so when “Begone Dull Care” struck up to highlight the finale of the marching (and of course the signature and quick march for the Royal Signals) it was as if my Dad was saying cheerio for another year.
Lest we forget.