While watching today's National Service of Remembrance live from the Cenotaph in Whitehall, London, I felt I should post something in memory of the many servicemen who have lost their lives in times of conflicts, as well as those who came home battered and changed, and the families who suffered bereavement and loss. I wasn't sure what to write, but then I read a very meaningful post on Natasha Oakley's blog which sums up what I was feeling.
Many things struck me as being moving while I was watching the service, but a piece of information that has stuck in my mind is this: The Royal British Legion, the UK charity that provides financial, social and emotional support to millions who have served and are currently serving in the Armed Forces and their dependants, takes responsibility for the sale of poppies in the lead-up to Remembrance Day. They say that up to one thousand ex-servicemen are sleeping rough on the streets of London on any given night. In order to help these veterans and the many others who turn to the Legion for support, the charity needs £75 million a year.
Only a third of this amount is collected through the annual sale of poppies.
You can visit the Poppy Appeal website by clicking on the banner below. They offer many other ways to help, including a download of a virtual poppy to your mobile phone.