To many people remembrance consists only of the events that take place around November 11 every year - the date of the Armistice in World War One.
The recent Great War services to mark the centenary of the start of that war are to many the only ones that take place outside that time. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The people who are active members of the numerous ex-service organisations across the country are attending services throughout the year. The standard bearers for these organisations even more so than most.
My husband Mick carries the standard for the Wolverhampton United Ex-service Council, a group which acts as an interchange of information and support for several of the ex-service organisations. Because his standard is the Queen’s colour, he cannot attend all services, as rules do not allow it, but is often asked to carry for other groups and is happy to do so.
So far this year, having missed the annual ANZAC service on Cannock Chase, we have been to the following:
- VE Day
- Katyn remembrance
- Korean veterans memorial
- Falklands memorial service
- Flag raising for Armed Forces Day
- Mercians homecoming
- Mercians march through Cannock town centre.
- Armed Forces Day in Wolverhampton
- Dudley AFD at Himley Hall
- Bilston Remembers opening parade through the town
- Black Country Memories Club - an afternoon to mark the closing of their WWI exhibition in Bilston Town Hall
- Bilston Remembers - a service and parade to close the Bilston Remembers fortnight.
We have yet to take part in two services to mark the Battle of Britain in September before we get down to thinking about the early November events and if we are going to take part in the Birmingham International Tattoo at the NIA.
So, if you see us looking a little weary during a parade or service, remember how many we have been to this year.