Impact of war is still with us this Remembrance Day – let’s do what we can to help

Sue Walker, Scottish Chief Commissioner, writes about marking Remembrance Sunday in her village – and what it means to us today.

On Remembrance Sunday, many of us will have attended remembrance services around Scotland and will remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. As time passes, there are fewer and fewer of us with real memories and connections to those who died in the First World War.

Before Remembrance Sunday, I attended a talk in my village, Limekilns in Fife, about our war memorial as a team of people from the village have been working out our connection to the First World War. Over the past two years, we’ve been trying to find out about the 33 men whose names are on the memorial and we’ve managed to uncover some interesting facts about them. We learned where they were born, how they earned their living, if and when they got married and found out where and when they died. Some of the families of these men attended the meeting and it was great to tell them about the connection and what we had found out.

On Remembrance Sunday, thanks to funding from the War Graves Commission, we were able to a sword on the memorial which was lost in the gales of 1968. It was very special to have the families of some of the men mentioned on the memorial there to see it restored.

I spent Remembrance Sunday with other families from Limekilns, paying our respects at the memorial and witnessing its restoration. It is powerful to think of the connection that we have in the village to the memorial, and that this will be passed down into further generations.

Of course war and conflict didn’t end with the two World Wars, and upsetting stories about refugees fleeing today’s conflict zones dominate the news today. Scotland will be welcoming 350 Syrian refugees before Christmas, and at least some of these will be girls and young women. I am pleased to see guiding groups across Scotland doing their bit to welcome these families and refugees to Scotland, including Girlguiding Montrose who wrote to David Cameron to urge him to welcome refugees and collected items for them.

Is your unit or County taking action to help refugees? How have you marked Remembrance Day? Share your stories with us here, on Twitter or on Facebook.