Lest we forget our heroes

Will 2012 be remembered for a fantastic year where we revelled in the glory and joyous celebrations when our Queen commemorated her Diamond Jubilee of her ascension to the throne?

Who could ever forget those fantastic Olympic and Paralympic Games that brought many a hard man to shed tears of pride and honour when our athletes raised their medals as they stood with aching hearts fit to burst as the Union Flag was raised.

Sunday week – the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month – is a time to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice so that we who live today in our country can live a free life.

The Royal British Legion has now commenced its Poppy Appeal and churches throughout the land will sing praises for those lost in wars and conflicts. This should be the year when all men and women and children should kneel next to a serving serviceman or woman or those who have served – our veterans – hold their hand and say a simple thank-you!

The Royal British Legion and SSAFA (Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association) Forces Help meet our servicemen and women, from the past or presently serving, face to face when there is a need for assistance and offer our hand in friendship.

At this time of the year, we bring our thoughts to those who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving our nation.

Recent conflicts have brought added relevance to the annual act of remembrance.

Increasingly, we remember not just battles long past but the families in our own communities who mourn the recent death of loved ones lost in some foreign land. Let us also think about the bravery of those who now live with life-changing injuries, mentally and physically, and the families and friends who support them.

During the last century, British troops saw action in many different conflicts, from the National Service generation fighting in Korea to those involved in Northern Ireland, the Falklands War as well as campaigns in Bosnia and Kosovo.

Many veterans feel their sacrifices and those of their comrades have long been forgotten, although their mental and physical scars can last a very long time, well after these battles have left the front pages.

Northumberland and Tyne and Wear Branches of SSAFA Forces Help provide a lifetime of support to our servicemen and women and their dependants.

Anyone who needs assitance from SSAFA Forces Help or would like to volunteer to help our heroes and heroines contact me at the Northumberland branch.

Major Brian Finlayson,

Tel: 01665 576756.

email: ssafa.alnwickdiv@hotmail.co.uk