WHEN, in 1970 at the age of 22, I was first elected as a councillor for Lyndon Ward, I formed the whole of the Labour Group and half of the Opposition on Solihull Council.
I have strong memories of my first major Civic Event which was the Parade on Remembrance Sunday that year. It was a bitterly cold day and I was glad of my warm Civic robe as we gathered at the memorial in the Square to remember the dead of two World Wars and later conflicts. Afterwards in the church, as it was 25years since the end of WW2, the vicar took as his theme how much longer would the remembrance service continue? At that time there was much discussion about how we should continue to remember those fallen in conflict.
I am pleased to say that nearly 40 years on from then, the acts of remembrance in Solihull and around the country are as strong as ever. I was particularly moved to see how many local children were involved in acts of remembrance exemplified by the picture of the 2nd Olton Brownies on the front page of last week’s ‘News’.
Also, it was timely to remind ourselves of those civilians who died in bombing raids particularly around the Rover works which was heavily targeted.
We should continue to remember our war heroes from the past and in more recent wars. We should look back but also we should look forward. We should remember the fallen but use this to spur us to continue to build the peace. That is why it is so important that the younger generations should be as involved today as they were in the past. In Europe, since the end of WW2, we have enjoyed the longest period of peace for many centuries. Let us carry on working with our partners in the EU to make that peace more robust for the generations that follow.
David was a Labour councillor on Solihull CBC from 1970-74. Later he was MP for Plymouth Devonport and now lives in Olton