Remembrance Sunday 2020 – VE7
It would be all too easy for the 75th anniversary of VE day to be eclipsed this year by our continued struggle with Covid-19. However, we are determined not to let this situation prevent us from paying our respects on Remembrance Sunday at the Stansted War Memorial. As we are unable to hold our normal Remembrance Sunday Service in Church it is all the more important that we gather together around the Stansted War Memorial for the wreath laying, reading of the names of the fallen, and the two-minute silence at 11am.
All we ask is that you respect the current requirements of face-coverings and social distancing.
It is always heartening to see photographs and film clips of VE day and the jubilation on the faces of the crowds in our cities who gathered to rejoice at the final overthrow the Nazi regime and its evil trail of destruction. I recently talked with my mother about this event. She is 94 years old and was in London on VE day. She said ‘Everybody was so glad that there was no more killing’ and ‘All the people were so happy – bouncing around – some people were dancing in the streets and the Yanks were there’. She also said that of course it was sad because ‘Everybody remembered someone who had been killed’. One memory she had was of the local scout master. ‘It was sad because he was a very young man. He joined the RAF and was shot down – they brought his body back’. She also remembered going to central London on VE day and seeing King George and the Queen at Buckingham Palace. She said ‘Quite frankly we were all very happy!’
We rejoice in our freedom but it doesn’t come cheap. It’s always costly and it’s always a fight. I value my freedom but I realise that it can never be taken for granted and there is always someone, be it a political, economic or spiritual power that is seeking to enslave or bring us under their control. That’s why we have to fight for our peace and our freedom. It is why we need an army and weapons. We can never take our peace or our freedom for granted. This is why Remembrance Sunday is so important. We will remember them.
Rev Dr Christopher Noble – Rector
St Mary’s Stansted with Fairseat and Vigo