The Privilege of Remembrance

“Don’t be content with things as they are. The earth is yours and the fulness thereof. Enter upon your inheritance, accept your responsibilities.”

— Winston Churchill (author, British Prime Minister)

Whilst remembrance is, first and foremost, a chance to mourn and mend, it is so much more. Remembrance ensures that, when the last of those involved in the event have left us, a timeless opportunity remains.

When ceremonies can’t be attended, they can be recorded. The sorrow that connects us can cross our screens, even if that same sorrow cannot be consoled in a physical embrace.

It’s not all melancholy. The lowered heads, the silence fallen, the singular tear, the brass salute — it all carries thanks as well as lament. Whatever is being commemorated, whether it’s painful to you or passive, whether you agree with the story behind the statues or not, there is a privilege for which to be grateful.

None of the names etched on the stone are yours. The air you draw is warmed by lungs that might never have been. The tears you shed could so easily have been puddle water.

You’re here. Those remembered are not.

Time has given you the present. Dare to inherit it.

How could you help someone reflect with optimism?

Dr Marc Reid is an academic scientist and entrepreneur based in Glasgow, Scotland.

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