This post is written to link with Five Minute Friday: write for five minutes on a one-word prompt. The prompt today is “silence.”
As the lone bugler takes his place the audience goes quiet. Until now the overall mood has been cheerful and the atmosphere one of celebration, but now the lights dim and, as the plaintive melody fills the hall, heads bow and people pause to reflect.
Finally the music dies away, and there is only silence.
A time to remember, and a time to reflect. A time to think of those who gave their lives in the armed forces and to grieve with their loved ones. A time to consider those currently involved in active service, and those who bear the physical and emotional scars. A time to give thanks for courage, and to pray for peace.
A mere two minutes of silence in the noise of life, but it seems appropriate to stop and show respect.
Lest we forget.
On five or six occasions now I’ve had the privilege of playing at a Festival of Remembrance, and it has opened my eyes to the reality of war and its cost. Watching elderly veterans struggling to walk but determined to take their place in the muster, hearing stories from fellow band members of army life- the good and the bad, seeing war widows join the parade, expecting a group of elderly ladies and realising to my surprise that some of them looked around my age!
It seems only right to pause and be silent.
And as we do, my mind always turns to the Scripture that was read just before the bugle call:
“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13 NIV)
It points me to an even greater sacrifice- to the one who willingly laid down his life for us all, who died to bring peace, and who is the source of our only hope.
It’s important to take time to be silent and remember.
Lest we forget.