Remembrance 2021

REMEMBRANCE

This year the month of November marks the 103rd anniversary of the end of World War 1. The cessation of hostility was meant to be permanent but as we know numerous wars have been fought in the years since.

Remembrance Sunday provides us with an opportunity in our busy lives to pause and to think about what war has meant for our country, our community and our congregation.

There are sixty-four names on the First World War Memorials and twenty-two names on the Second World War Memorials in St Ninians Old Parish Church. Each name reminds us of a life given that we might live in peace and freedom. (The reason we have two sets of War Memorials is that one set came to us when St George’s Church, in Main Street and Kirk Wynd, was closed in 1968).

                 

Some years ago, I visited, with friends, Auschwitz/Berkenau concentration camp. It was a most moving experience but what touched me most was the silence that prevailed. There were many people visiting the camp but as we walked round, there was a quietness as we reflected on the horror of what had taken place there.

Something remarkable can happen when a crowd of people observes a time of silence. We see it in a football stadium when those present, cease, for a moment, to be supporters and all are united in a moment that is both reflective and respectful. The silence gathers those present into a shared emotion before life, as we know it, resumes.

Wearing a poppy and maintaining a time of silence on Remembrance Sunday is a ritual full of significance. It is more than maintaining a memory; it is a pledge to honour the fallen by working for a better future and the dawning of a brighter day, a day when, to quote the Prophet Micah, ‘Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war any more’.

The Rev Gary J McIntyre