You can’t fully put into words how poignant Acts of Remembrance are as we mark Armistice Day. Even the avoidable political row in the days up to the pro-Palestinian march in London that coincided with Armistice Day was evidence of the strength of significance and importance people hold for Acts of Remembrance.
My parents grew up during the Second World War and to honour those who died in conflict was part of my growing up and I found this past week just as moving and powerful as previous years. On Monday it was an honour to place wreaths on a Merlin Helicopter at RNAS Culdrose, Helston, along with veterans, civic leaders and serving men and women as part of the Veterans Charity Routes of Remembrance. On Saturday the monthly veterans breakfast at Penzance Fire Station held even greater significance as a commemorative plaque had been installed in the Veterans Garden in time for Armistice Day. A wreath-laying ceremony took place later on that morning. I had left by then to go to Penlee Memorial Garden to join the Mayor to mark the 11am moment of silence. We worry that these events might fade away as the years pass but there was no evidence of this in Penzance on Sunday morning as we paraded from St John’s Hall to the Memorial by Jubilee Pool, nor was there any lack of support in St Ives where I was able to catch the parade as it returned to the Guild Hall after their church service. There was further reason for encouragement that support for the poppy appeal was still strong at the St Ives British Legion as we honoured all those who continued to give their time to ensure those who have lost their lives are never forgotten. Across the constituency people marked Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday - you don’t have to look far to find the names of those who left West Cornwall and never returned and this includes recent conflicts such as the brave young Cornish men who lost their lives in Afghanistan. We can pride ourselves on the way we remember them and we can all work and pray for peace.
I return to St Ives British Legion on Friday at 5pm for my regular drop-in’ in the town. Over the past weekend I was also at Marazion, Long Rock, Pendeen and Newlyn. These are intended as an opportunity for you to raise any question, concern or idea. I listen carefully to see what can be done to address these issues.
As examples of what came up over the recent recent ‘drop-ins’, I can say there was a plea to try harder to find a way to stop the bloodshed of innocent people caught up in the Israel/Gaza conflict. Other topics were delays in getting probate, assisted dying, HMRC failures, National Grid infrastructure issues and access to cash and lack of banking and post offices services. There is no issue that is off the table and sometimes people just drop-in to say hello which is as good a reason as any.