Each year in November my thoughts, like much of the country, turn towards the fallen and innocents who have lost their lives in conflicts around the world. It is particularly poignant as this is the 100 year anniversary of the end of the ‘War to end all wars’.
My personal reflections are framed by my almost 20 years service in the Royal Air Force as well as my Grandfather’s experience in WW2. Arthur Francis Masters was an 18 year old Somerset farm boy when he and his best friend joined the RAF in February 1943.
War is brutal, terrifying and lacking in sentiment with luck determining where the shadow of death’s cloak falls. Arthur survived 30+ operations over enemy territory as a gunner on a Lancaster squadron but his pal was lost on his first mission. It is with this in mind that I believe we should honour the victims of war by ensuring we learn the lessons of history, teaching our children and grandchildren that building bridges is always preferable to tearing them down.
What better commemorative legacy can there be to those touched by war than a world that seeks peace and reconciliation with the same vigour and energy as those who advocate conflict?