National Memorial Arboretum - Sat 13th Sept

Had a great day at the National Memorial on Sat, meeting old friends, making new ones, and of course remembering all those who gave their lives in whatever role, to defeat terrorism.

The weather was beautiful, the Arboretum looked splendid, and the journey was well worth it.

I looked at all those mature men and women, some of whom had served continuously for much of the period (in the RUC and UDR for example), and thought; did we really come thought those fraught years, losing so many friends on the way? Will it have to be done again by our grandchildren just as it had to be done intermittently before 1969?

Will someone else raise some vicious and bloody-minded propaganda to get it all going again?

I hope not, but if it does no doubt others, just as courageous as the many names on the Memorial, will rise to the challenge.
It is indeed a fantastic place. I was lucky enough to get an invite to the service to mark the withdrawal of British troops from Bosnia in 2007. I'd never been before and was really impressed and it'll only get better as the trees grow etc.

As a little footnote, after the Bosnia service was over, most of us made our way up to the main Armed Forces Memorial only to find that a stonemason was in the process of chiselling yet another name onto the wall and obviously had been whilst the commemoration was going on. Says it all really.

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