Why we honour our war dead;Letter;News amp; Opinion

19th November 1999 at 00:00
IT'S A pity Adrian Mourby (TES, November 12) didn't take his family to his parents' house to "watch a lot of servicemen marching about to brass bands" on Remembrance Sunday - a day which he finds disturbingly militaristic.

Honouring our war dead is not a vague, respectable phrase: nor do we use solely young professional soldiers to commemorate the huge losses incurred by Britain's two conscript armies. Veterans of recent events such as the Falklands and Gulf wars, who most visibly embody those who suffered both death and injury, as well as members of all walks of society, symbolise the whole of the United Kingdom citizenry.

Our armed services are indeed a sad necessity, but to call their presence on Remembrance Sunday "tactless" beggars belief.

Soldiers, sailors and airmen - citizens all - will wish, perhaps, to feel that they are visibly joined to the rest of society in honour of their predecessors' sacrifices, and that their efforts were not in vain.

Robert Carstairs, Assistant general secretary, (Lieutenant Colonel, retired), Secondary Heads Association, Regent Road, Leicester

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