They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
from a Poem by Robert Laurence Binyon (1869-1943)
Since 2014, and amidst rising nationalism in many of our nations, we have been experiencing the centenary of the First World War. This will end on Sunday 11th November, both Armistice or Remembrance Day and our Remembrance Sunday and for which many in Britain and The Commonwealth wear poppies, as a symbol of remembrance.
I have not infrequently found church sponsored initiatives to either miss the mark, or to be somewhat insensitive, but not on this occasion. Local guidelines and suggestions have been issued regarding the commemoration as part of an 11 Days of Remembrance initiative. In our stake members have been encouraged to attend local civic services for Remembrance Sunday, and local leaders to rearrange church meetings where necessary to accommodate this. Given that past Remembrance Sunday meetings at church have been something of a hit and miss affair, depending on local leadership, and our past absence at the civic level, this is a wholly welcome move. In addition, leaders throughout the country have been given specific permission to plan “A special Sacrament meeting to be held on Sunday 11th November 2018”, should they so wish.
I have been moved by the 11 Days of Remembrance calendar, beginning today 1st November and running through to the 11th, that has been produced, with video clips based upon moving original documents (links to transcripts of those documents are provided, along with the videos in the online calendar), the range of voices represented in the selection, and suggestions for working on an individual value for each of the 11 days.
Finally, wards or stakes have the option to put on an evening commemorative event (framework and script supplied or you can draft your own in accordance with the guidelines given), if they so desire, and if not members are still free to watch live-streaming of an event from London.
As a trumpet player, I still look forward to the day when we might see the Last Post as part of our Remembrance Sunday services and commemorations. It’s a staple of many Remembrance Day services nationwide. Nevertheless, I am encouraged by this new found support for local culture and community. Long may it continue.