A reflection by Revd Ellie Launders-Brown
As a Christian and a veteran of the Royal Navy, Remembrance Sunday is always an important part of the calendar and will always hold a special place in my heart.
I have spent Remembrance Sunday, at sea, on land in both the UK and abroad, during conflict and at peace.
To stand alongside my serving comrades in remembrance of the sacrifice of all who gave their lives in the service of their country is quite a poignant moment and never fails to stir up many emotions.
As there are very few veterans remaining of the two world wars, it always felt important to me that all people of every nationality should stand together as a living memorial to the fallen in all conflicts.
Hearing the guns fall silent as a mark of respect, gives an insight into how that silence must have felt on 11/11/18, it is quite a deafening and spine-tingling silence to behold.
As I begin my ordained ministry, I feel that this living memorial is still important, but also that our act of remembrance should be a journey.
Yes, we should still look back and remember the sacrifice of others for a freedom that we are fortunate enough to enjoy today, but we should also learn from the past as we look to the present, and how our fellow human beings are still suffering oppression, discrimination, and abuse.
That living memorial we make on Remembrance Sunday is futile if we still allow the mistreatment and injustice that is around today.
I am always drawn at this time of Remembrance to the Words of Micah: ‘Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore; but they shall all sit under their own vines and under their own fig trees and no one shall make them afraid; for the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken.’ (Micah 4:3-4).
My prayer as we enter the season of Remembrance is that if we can come together and unite with our fellow human beings, regardless of race, nationality, gender, sexuality, ability or disability, can we then look with hope towards a new future where we can accept and embrace our differences and live together as children of God in peace.
Ellie Launders-Brown was ordained a deacon in 2021 and is currently serving her curacy with East Scardsale Team Ministry.
She is also a veteran of the Royal Navy.