Alicia Kearns MP for Rutland discusses importance of Remembrance Day
At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, we will remember them – those words are repeated by us all, every year, writes Alicia Kearns MP for Rutland. And they never lose their poignancy – even more so now that any direct memory of the trenches in France, as well as the First World War more generally, is gone. Those heroes who fought for civilisation are now no more – and it is up to all of us to remember their sacrifice; that sacrifice that can never truly be repaid.
It was my privilege to pay my own respects in both Oakham and Uppingham last Sunday. In communities like ours in Rutland, there are few people who do not have their own, personal, story of those who served in our Armed Forces. Listening to the Cottesmore Military Wives Choir brought a tear to my eye – these women know more than most about the sacrifices of those who defend our nation.
One of the most amazing things about Remembrance is that it is something for the whole community – a time for everyone to share in this simple act. The parade was simply incredible, and the heaving service just showed how important this is to our community. It was particularly special to meet representatives of all our local armed forces – including dogs from 1st Military Working Dog Regiment.
The poppies that we wear for Remembrance are, of course, organised by the Royal British Legion – a charity who deserve every ounce of support they receive. I like to think the RBL has also highlighted the importance of retaining dignity – for younger veterans with retraining and adjusting as successfully to civvy street – but also for enhancing dignity in old age.
We all respect our aged veterans enormously – but respect in old age is something that must be available to all. That’s why the Government has, for the first time in decades, made the first steps to enhance social care provision in this country – with 162.5 million invested nationwide to fund workforce retention and recruitment. Our own county will receive £91,894 – just the first step in our collective effort to fund social care properly.
Finally, I think that everyone in Rutland sees our county as a special place – a county that has so much good here. We recognise that it isn’t always perfect – but we want to preserve what is good about our home while moving to a future that works better for us.
The council in Oakham is doing sterling work to give us all a chance to shape a vision of where Rutlanders see our county going, and the Future Rutland Conversation is now nearing its end. I am becoming increasingly excited about this – not just the content of the report, but the way the council has gone about creating it with survey, commentary and now, a final check to ensure that engaged Rutlanders believe that the vision for our shared future works for them. This will help shape my priorities for the next few years.
I firmly believe that everyone deserves a say in how our future folds out – that’s democracy, and that sacrifice is what we commemorate every Remembrance Sunday. I encourage all readers to have a look at the Draft Vision at future.rutland.gov.uk/future-rutland-conversation– and to respond to the survey. Your views will help shape the future of our county – and this isn’t an opportunity to be passed up!