Today I went to Lanark Grammar School to help faciliate a remembrance at 11am. It was the first time we had attempted this but it was simply amazing. The school helpfully set the interval five minutes earlier so that the young people could still have time to get food and relax. During the week the Chaplains had ran Rememberance themed assemblies and told the young people about this special event.
I turned up to help Bryan lead this special event and watched as ‘The Street’ area filled with young people. There was the expected hustle and bustle and slowly the time crawled round to 11am. Occasional messages of ‘good luck’ were sent as pupils passed by us, and then some teachers arrived as well. We had no idea what would happen. Then Bryan called for quiet and immediately conversation stopped, young people who had gone outside into the courtyard came into the street and everyone turned to the stage area. Bryan told them what we were doing, and asked that everyone respected the silence whether or not they agreed with it.
Then followed one minute of silence and it was awe-inspiring – to see several hundred young people and staff standing in silence, where only moments before there had been so much movement and noise. I concluded the silence with Binyon’s lines and thanked them for their silence. Spontaneously there was a round of applause and some extremely impressed staff and chaplains.
We might believe that young people don’t want to listen, that they don’t have respect for their elders or their history, but today they proved beyond a doubt that it is important to remember. To remember those who gave their lives in conflict – whether in world wars or in more recent conflicts. We are grateful to those who worked hard on the front line and behind the scenes. We empathise with those who have lost loved ones and pray for those who are still sitting at home whilst loved ones fight in wars across the world.
We don’t like war. We don’t like conflict. Yet every day someone fights for another’s freedom. Let’s take time to step back from the personal wars and conflicts we have in our daily lives, and see if we can bring peace regardless of who is to blame. Small changes in our own lives can impact on the future of many. Let’s not just remember but let’s commit ourselves to bringing peace in our world – starting on our own doorstep.
Jesus said: I leave you peace; my peace I give you. I do not give it to you as the world does. So don’t let your hearts be troubled or afraid.” John 14:27 (NCV)
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.