This column appeared in the Advertiser yesterday. For some reason, they left the words in Bold out of the column, even though I was under the word limit for the column. I think it is essential we learn lessons from conflicts both 100 years ago and more recently.
John Leech MP.
One hundred years ago saw the beginning of the First World War, a war that changed the way we live today. It is imperative that we remember the past and commemorate those who gave up their lives so we could be free. Organisations and groups up and down the country have staged events to mark the centenary of Britain entry into First World War. These events have been supported by the Government through the Heritage Lottery Funding.
World War 1 was dubbed “The war to end all wars”, and the centenary events are a stark reminder that we have failed to learn the lessons from that war. It focuses our minds on current conflicts throughout the World and the devastation that war brings to the innocent victims of these conflicts.
It is important that politicians play their part in helping deliver peace. Whether that is peace in Gaza, Syria or Iraq and an end to terrible suffering of civilians, or separatism in Ukraine, armed conflict is never the answer.
In Ladybarn I was asked to launch the event to commemorate the men of Ladybarn who lost their lives in WWI at St Chad’s Church. Through a Heritage Lottery Funding grant St Chad’s are staging an exhibition and commemorative book about those men connected with the local area and whose names are recognised on St Chad’s WWI remembrance tablet.
The project brought together people in the community working together to preserve the memories and heritage of local people who lived through the Great War. Volunteers collated photographs, newspaper clippings, documents, keepsakes, as well as family tales passed down to help them build a clear picture of what life was really like.
This project is a fitting memorial to those who made the ultimate sacrifice 100 years ago. It will also be a permanent reminder to future generations of the price local people paid in the war that was supposed to end all wars. Well done to all those who played their part in delivering this legacy.