November 11th, the day where we remember the people who’ve served and given their lives for our freedom.
And every year I feel stuck not knowing what to say that will be of any use or do any justice to the day and the families who have lost loved ones and, as such, it’s so tempting to say or do nothing.
My dad served in the Falklands War as part of the Royal Navy when I was four and while I have no memory of that time, I can see ways it has shaped me into the person I am today.
It feels wrong to just brush over today, to write about something else entirely, to pretend today is just another day.
For my children it really is just another day of course.
They see the poppies, know the story of what today is about, and my eldest sang in a special Remembrance concert, but in practical terms, the day means so little to them.
And for that I can only be thankful.
I’m thankful that my children have grown up in peace with no concept of what it is to have a family member far away.
I’m thankful that they have their granddad in their life because he didn’t die on that ship.
I’m thankful for all their aunties and uncles who were born, post-1982. It’s weird to think how different life would be if I wasn’t the eldest of 6.
I’m thankful that they have the freedom to go from day to day without fear or worry.
And maybe that’s what most of us can take from today.
It’s important to remember, to look back and learn and appreciate what others have sacrificed for us but what honour are we doing to anyone if remembering doesn’t also lead us to thankfulness?
And so today, in the midst of whatever today looks like for you, I’d encourage you to take a moment to stop and say thank you (whether that be to another person or to God or just as a whisper in your heart.)
We don’t always know what to say but saying nothing isn’t really an option so, in lieu of knowing, here’s to saying and being thankful.