Saturday, 10 November 2012
Remembering Our Heroes - Past And Present
Today is Remembrance Sunday. It is a time for us to reflect upon and give thanks to the many brave men and women who have fought for our freedom over the years. I am particularly grateful to them as my Grandmother and her family were persecuted in Nazi Germany simply because of their religion. Some were killed atrociously, others had their liberty taken from them and many were hounded out of the country they had called home. If not for the bravery of others then it would no doubt be a dark and frightening world that we would be living in today. But a war can be fought in many ways and today we should remember not only the bravery of those who fought for us with weapons - but also those who fight with words.
Sadly over sixty years on from the end of the Second World War people all over the world are still fighting for their freedom. I find it unimaginable really that in 2012 the human race has been to the moon and split the atom, we have seen women Prime Ministers and the first black President of the U.S. And yet in some countries women and girls are still fighting to have their basic human rights acknowledged. They are fighting for the right to get an education, to have a career and to be able to live free of the fear of persecution.
A few months ago a young girl was shot by the Taliban in Pakistan. Her name is Malala Yousafzai and her crime was that she had campaigned for better education for girls and had spoken out and blogged about the oppression faced by women in her country. Thankfully she survived and is now being treated in Britain. I think she was amazingly brave to do what she did, to speak out against people much more powerful than her. They say that the pen can be mightier than the sword and in my opinion this is the way that the war against the oppression of women will be won - by people standing up, claiming their right to free speech, using words as weapons and toppling dictatorships from within.
So I hope that today everyone will be able to spare a minute to think about and thank those who have stood up and made their opinions heard and those who have fought and suffered physically often in terrible conditions. Our family will definitely be observing the 11 o'clock silence to show our gratitude to those who have risked their own lives for the greater good and who have helped to preserve the wonderful freedoms that I think we often take for granted. We will also remember those who are still fighting to make the world a better place.
To those who fight with the pen, and to those who fight with the sword...thank you.