Belfast Telegraph

Editor's Viewpoint: Remember those many brave people who sacrificed all in past conflicts to secure freedom for future generations

When the machine guns and artillery cut down swathes of soldiers as they went over the top at the Somme or when the deadly blitz of bombs were dropped on Belfast during the Second World War there was no discrimination about who lived or died. Wars take lives and often it is just down to luck if someone survives or not (stock)
When the machine guns and artillery cut down swathes of soldiers as they went over the top at the Somme or when the deadly blitz of bombs were dropped on Belfast during the Second World War there was no discrimination about who lived or died. Wars take lives and often it is just down to luck if someone survives or not (stock)

Editor's Viewpoint

When the machine guns and artillery cut down swathes of soldiers as they went over the top at the Somme or when the deadly blitz of bombs were dropped on Belfast during the Second World War there was no discrimination about who lived or died. Wars take lives and often it is just down to luck if someone survives or not.

That is why tomorrow it is right and proper for all to remember the fallen and those who made it through whatever conflict they were engaged in. Protestants, Catholics and those of no religion from here fought side by side in World Wars as well as in the Troubles on their own land.

Listen to any veteran of conflict and they are not full of gung-ho heroism. Indeed many are modest in the extreme, preferring to remember the comrades they lost rather than the deeds they performed themselves.

The ghosts of the past still haunt them in their old age.

For them Remembrance Sunday is a day tinged with sorrow and regret as well as pride.

We must also remember there were many front lines. The nurses who served in the Great War and whose exploits are recalled in a new book played a pivotal role without ever firing a shot.

Prison officers who were shot dead in Northern Ireland merely for doing their job were easy targets for the IRA.

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Police officers, both male and female, also found themselves in the sights of the terrorists making the RUC one of the most dangerous forces in the world in which to serve.

Thankfully in recent years there has been a much greater awareness and appreciation of the debt we owe to those who put their lives on the line so that their peers and future generations could enjoy the freedoms that we have today.

Those freedoms have often been abused, which is a shame, but we can make some little reparation by pausing and remembering the valour and, too frequently the sacrifice, of past generations.

Belfast Telegraph

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