• Richard Butler

Remembrance and Hope


Remembrance Sunday this year seemed to have a particularly melancholy feel to it with damp mist in the air, leaves deep on the ground and events in Afghanistan so fresh in our minds. As always, we sought to keep alive the flame of remembrance of young men and women who gave their lives in conflicts, some of which are now beyond living memory. This we seek to do in familiar ritual, in poetry and in music, to try to stir our minds to an imagination of events and emotions which can be very difficult at so far a remove. Perhaps that is just a little easier when the weather adds to the melancholy, though it is still difficult.


But having attempted it, our minds then need to move to the question of hope. A very practical hope that the British Legion and other charities working with veterans will be better resourced and a fundamental and perhaps even existential hope for humankind. That in the words of Micah, when God’s Kingdom is fully realised, people:


shall beat their swords into ploughshares,

and their spears into pruning-hooks;

nation shall not lift up sword against nation,

neither shall they learn war any more;

but they shall all sit under their own vines and under their own fig trees,

and no one shall make them afraid.

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