Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Remembrance Day with our European partners

Remembrance Day has taken on added significance in recent years as we mark not just the loss of life in the First and Second World Wars but also in more recent conflicts.  On a personal level, during the two minutes silence I remember fathers of childhood friends killed by the IRA, a boy from my school shot by a sniper in Bosnia and another who died in the Twin Towers on 9/11.

Holding these events in our minds once a year is an important way not only of showing our respect but also to think about the precious nature of peace.  Last Sunday our CCF took part in the annual act of remembrance in Rochester and on Monday the Senior School, alumni and parents gathered in Rochester Cathedral for a service of remembrance.

It is always a poignant service and one thing which is different to others I attend is that at the end, the whole school files through the chapel where the names of pupils who died in the First and Second World Wars are inscribed on the walls.  As they do so, every person takes off their own poppy and adds it to the wreaths laid on behalf of the whole school.  It is that personal act of remembrance which I think is so important.

This year we had pupils and teachers from six other European countries with us as part of a exchange programme in which we are involved.  To have representatives from Germany, Italy, Romania and other countries joining in with British pupils in a shared act of remembrance was very special indeed.

Poppies laid by King's pupils in Rochester Cathedral