At the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month we all pause to remember.
Today we went to the Remembrance Sunday service at church. After the main service finishes at about 10.50 we all file outside. We sing a hymn and say some prayers and then the Last Post is played. And everything stops.
Colchester is a garrison town so, while many of the people present are remembering those who served in the first or second world wars, there are always some who are worrying for loved ones serving at this very moment somewhere in the world.
There is one particularly lovely tradition here which I’ve never seen anywhere else. At the end of the service, after we’ve sung the national anthem and the Rector has spoken the blessing, each of us, slowly at first but then building to a flood, move forward and plant our poppies at the foot of the war memorial. This leaves the memorial, with it’s wreaths laid by various organisations, ringed with red. Each poppy the sign of an individual’s act of remembrance and of their promise never to forget the sacrifices made by the few to whom we owe so very much.