Councillor
Peter J. Martin
transparency, accountability and effective representation

Donaghadee - Councillor Peter J. Martin

They gave their today

Monday 24th October 2011

This year my wife and I were blessed with a daughter, and now being a parent Remem– brance Sunday has an even greater personal significance for me.

This year my wife and I were blessed with a daughter, and now being a parent Remembrance Sunday has an even greater personal significance for me. The average age of those serving in Bomber Command during World War 2 was just 22 and the majority of those young men were either killed, injured or ended up in POW camps. Every one of them someone’s child. The average age of the combat soldier in the British Army today has fallen to just 19. 

Remembrance Sunday is not about nationalism or triumphalism rather it is about reflecting on the great sacrifice that many men and women made to protect the democracy afforded to us all. Especially in Northern Ireland we know the huge human cost of the Troubles. My own grandfather fought bravely in France during World War 2 and was evacuated from Dunkirk – thankfully he survived the war. I owe it to him and all the other tens of thousands of men and women to properly and continually remember the sacrifice they made – some the ultimate sacrifice. 

I would urge all parents to explain to their children who are of an age to understand that the poppy means that someone gave their life so you could have yours. Perhaps you could also bring your son or daughter to the Cenotaph on Sunday morning at 11am so they could learn that the democracy and freedom we enjoy cost a heavy price. 

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