This year we will be remembering the beginning of the First World War. Most of our towns and villages have a memorial to those who died fighting in this war and many of these are situated in our churches.
As a way of remembering I understand that all local councils are drawing together a list of all the memorials to those who died for their country in that conflict.
We have a memorial in our church in Market Weighton which reminds us of the sacrifice that was made.
Many of our schools are also studying WWI this year with a particular focus on the cost of war and those who work for reconciliation and peace. It is appropriate that we do what we can to stop losing sight of the great sacrifice that was made by so many in that war particularly as there can be few left in this country who have direct experience of it.
There is, however, a fine line to be drawn when remembering major conflicts. Do we just remember them and give thanks for those who suffered or do we celebrate the occasion?
I, like many I think, find it difficult to “celebrate” an event like this when the loss of life was so high and the damage caused so great.
I do believe that it is right that we remember and give thanks for those who fought in that war, those who suffered because of it and those who died as a result of it.
None of us is able to survive entirely on our own, we all need the help of others on occasions. These people suffered because of this conflict or, indeed, made the ultimate sacrifice and lost their lives as a result of it so that we can live in freedom, and we must not forget this.
So let us remember before God and give thanks for all those who suffered as a result of the First World War and particularly those who gave their lives that we might live. The Father will hear and understand our prayers as his Son, Jesus, died that we might have life. Revd David Everett – vicar of Market Weighton, Goodmanham & Sancton.