A time for reflection. A time for a moment’s silence. A time for thanks.
And with events here in the UK, across Europe, in the USA, Russia, China, North Korea, Syria, Yemen and beyond this day is much needed.
Whether you experienced either world war or have simply read about it, you’ll know the word sacrifice has genuine and poignant meaning for many.
Without the courage and bravery of men and women, this world would be a very different place.
War is horror yet holds our fascination.
You only have to visit places to imagine the unimaginable.
The Bridge on the River Kwai.
Any war grave or cemetery in the world.
And, of course…
Giving a donation to wear a poppy each November seems a small, incomplete token of appreciation.
Remembrance should not just last one day, however.
We live in uncertain times…
Very uncertain times.
The American presidential election and result has added greatly to the uncertainty.
There is, quite rightly, outrage and disgust at many of the things Donald Trump has said – and says he will do.
Yet his victory was perhaps not as big a surprise as many felt it was.
The Brexit vote here in the UK gave a hint of a mood swing of the nation. Other European countries are also feeling it.
People want to be loved. People want to feel supported. People want to sense that politicians understand their life, what they want, what they need.
They want customer service.
Donald Trump tapped into the simmering frustrations, fears and angers of many American citizens.
He played up to the cameras. He was smart with his use of Social Media. Or at least his campaign strategists were. He had the more powerful slogan – “Make America Great Again”.
Take heed, leaders.
When politicians stop listening and simply plough on with policies regardless, they probably could have got away with it most times in the past.
The Tipping Point
We may now be at a tipping point. At the very least a turning point.
A point where people are beginning to understand what power they do have.
The political system is still weighted against full democracy – Hillary Clinton gained more votes yet still lost the election – but people see that their vote can and does count.
Will Trump deliver the nightmare many people across the world fear?
Or will he play a new game now that his previous one delivered him into the White House?
How many of his proposals will he really go ahead with?
On the face of it, the picture does not look good… either for America or the rest of the planet.
Yet, for all that is detestable about the man, Trump should be given a chance to prove himself a worthy leader.
That’s one of the prices we pay for a bit of democracy.
It’s one thing to talk big. It’s another to act with strength, courage, respect and dignity.
As we remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice so we could live freely today, it’s important we remind our leaders about what we want our countries and nations to be like.
WHAT DO WE WANT?
It’s time for us to demonstrate our values.
Every politician and political party should be kept under scrutiny.
The world’s eyes are on Donald Trump.
It;s not just a job for the defeated Democrats to ensure the new President does his job for the good of the people.
It’s the task of ALL Republicans to keep watch too. And the rest of us from the outside as well.
The spectre of past world wards and new fears for a fresh wave of extremism haunt this planet.
Remembrance Day is not just about remembering the past.
It’s about reminding ourselves of the warning signs.
We cannot change the past.
We can each play a part in shaping the future.
Mr Trump. We are watching you.