Remembrance Sunday



This morning I had the honour of laying a wreath at the Ilford War Memorial on behalf of the people of Ilford North in remembrance of those who made the ultimate sacrifice to defend our freedom and democracy, alongside my friend and colleague Mike Gapes MP for Ilford South.

As usual, there was a great turnout, the sun shone for us and the Redbridge Music Service band played as the Mayor of Redbridge, the Royal British Legion's chaplain and faith leaders led us remembrance.

On Remembrance Sunday we remember those who've died in all wars and the many more service personnel and their families who put themselves through risk and hardship to protect our country and the lives of civilians around the world at risk of tyranny. In Redbridge, we remember not only the British troops, but those from across the world who came to our defence, particularly the huge numbers of Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus from the Indian subcontinent, without whom we would surely have lost.

This year the Royal British Legion are asking all of us not just to remember the fallen, but to secure the future of the living. There are men and women alive today who have risked, and continue to risk, their lives in the service of our country. They, and their families, need our help too.

At this time of year, I always think about my late grandad, William Alfred ("Bill") Streeting. He fought for our country during the Second World War in the Royal Navy just as his father fought for us in the Great War. As the number of veterans from the Second World War diminishes, we need to reflect now, more than ever, on that dark chapter in the history of humanity.

The spectre of the far right looms over the continent of Europe once again. We saw it on our televisions this morning on the BBC from just over the channel in France.

George Santayana said: 'Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it'. We owe it to those who gave their lives for us to remain vigilant in defence of democracy and human rights against the far right threat.

Thanks to the Ilford Recorder for the photographs.

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