The images and messages have been with us for many weeks now in the run up to today, Remembrance Sunday. The politics of the conflicts in which those being remembered served are irrelevant today. Today, it is about those who died and those who were wounded.
I have never served in the armed forces, nor have I had any exposure to conflict and for that I am thankful. When I was young enough to have been conscripted as many hundreds of thousands had been before me at times of war I felt a closer affinity to those young men and women who did not reach the age that I am today. Images of men under fire whether in World War One or in recent conflicts made me think how I would have reacted. Could I have performed in the same manner as those observed in the images?
As I matured, although still not an age immune to death and injury through war, I am now at the age of many of the parents who have lost sons and daughters in Iraq and Afghanistan. My boys are the age of many young men and women who have not returned.
It is now that reason that I remember those who did not return, thankful that I sit watching as an appreciative observer of the sacrifice made rather than as a grieving father.