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Remembrance Day 2019: Royal Star & Garter family on why they will remember

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Remembrance Day is a time when we stop to think of the sacrifices made by the men and women who died in wars and served in our military.

 

As a charity which provides loving compassionate care for veterans and their partners living with disability or dementia it means a great deal to the Royal Star & Garter family. Some of our residents served in the Second World War, while many more were children and remember it vividly.

 

Here, the Royal Star & Garter family – residents, relatives, staff and volunteers – explain what Remembrance Day means to them.

I think of all the people I knew personally who served in the Forces. I know of one person who was lost in Burma, in the Army. I think of him. Harry’s got two brothers, one in the Army and one in the Air Force. I had a cousin in the Air Force, a cousin in the Army. I had a brother who was in the Navy. They all came through, but they’re all gone now. None of them are alive now.
Sue,
who lives with her husband of 69 years Harry at Royal Star & Garter

Sarah ‘Kitch’ Kitchen, Health Care Assistant

It’s a day to remember all the veterans past and present. Both my grandfathers were in the Second World War. It’s quite emotional remembering the stories they told me when I was a little girl. Then as you get older you learn the horrible bits they didn’t tell you. I also remember all the families as well that have lost loved ones.

I think working at Royal Star & Garter that I feel more passionate about Remembrance. Especially reading the life stories of residents. You learn how the war affected them. I find it an honour to assist in their care.

Sue McFadyen, volunteer

I think if we don’t remember, we’ll forget the things we need to remember. We need to remember what happens to the world when people start hating each other. We have to remember, or we are doomed to repeat the same mistakes. It would be a shame if Remembrance is just seen as something for old people. I hope it has resonance with young people too.

Remembrance means a lot to me. I had a relative who died in the First World War. He was 22, had a young wife, and baby who never saw him. My husband was also in the Army himself for five years, so Remembrance does feel very personal to me. I feel a relationship to the military family which is one of the reasons I started volunteering for Royal Star & Garter.

It’s an important day. When I watch the Remembrance Service on TV, it brings it home to me how many people gave their lives so that we could live ours. It’s important that we continue to remember
Lily,
resident who served four years in the Women’s RAF

Anne, daughter of resident Harold

Remembrance Sunday has always held a strong meaning in our family. It is a time to remember and honour those who made the ultimate sacrifice so that we have the gift of opportunity and freedom. A time to reflect and be thankful to all those who suffered fear and the loss of their loved ones so that we don't have to.

For me, with age, the message becomes even more powerful as I have been given the gift of seeing my two sons grow into young men who are able to choose their own path in life. I am fortunate to have had the chance to hear first-hand from men and women involved in the war. Their stories are told without self-pity - they are from a generation with exceptional strength and fortitude.

I feel it is our responsibility to ensure those voices and stories are still heard and not forgotten so that future generations can learn from them and history is not repeated. That is the least we can do.

Rosie Wotherspoon, Health Care Assistant

As a 19-year-old living in 2019, I think Remembrance Day is really important. I would live in a very different world if not for the bravery and amazing work of the men and women who have served and fought for this country.

I also think of people behind the scenes, like those in admin, and all the work they do. I think they are all a credit to Britain and I feel a massive amount of respect and gratitude. It’s important to remember and thank them.

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