The Significance of Remembrance

In early November, Blue Coat’s School Staff Instructor WO2 Vince Reynolds RE, who served in the Royal Engineers for 24 years, spoke to the assembled school community¬†about the significance and meaning of Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday. He talked about how the media lead us to believe that combat is exciting, whereas the reality is that it is frightening, confusing and lonely – and frequently boring – but mostly it is mentally and physically exhausting and leaves scars; “not all of them visible”. He spoke about why Armistice Day (11th November) and Remembrance Sunday (the second Sunday in November) are our opportunity to remember and honour those who have sacrificed themselves in conflict to defend our freedom, and to acknowledge the debt that we owe them.

He finished his Assembly by reading John McRae’s poem “In Flanders Fields”, which emphasises the poppy as the symbol of those who have died in conflict:

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

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