Today is Remembrance Day and I will spend it in the same way I have for many years. In the morning, my husband and I attend the service at the cenotaph. In the afternoon, I make Christmas cake.
That may seem like a strange juxtaposition, remembrance and celebration, but it is fitting. In a religious sense, Advent is a season of reflection, a quiet time, a time to prepare for the birth of Jesus and the miracle of salvation embodied in His life.
Remembrance Day is also a time for reflection, for quiet, sombre ceremony and a time to remember that “man hath no greater love than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” War brings out the worst and the best of mankind. The annals of wartime team with examples of soldiers sacrificing themselves for their comrades. They also record the thousands of stories of ordinary men and women who went to war because they believed in peace and freedom. Mixing Christmas cake in the comfort of my kitchen, the air redolent with spices and fruit, my heart free of fear, I live out the life my soldier ancestors fought for.
On November 11 I remember with gratitude my countrymen who risked all that my generation might live in peace. On November 11 I prepare for the coming of the Prince of Peace.