Andrew has written to local Councillors, Churches, and the Royal British Legion ahead of Rembrance Day this sunday. You can read Andrew's letter below.
As we approach Remembrance Weekend, I would like to thank you for all you are doing to ensure that the memory of all those who fought and fell for our freedom remains alive. Across West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine, from Strathdon to the Howe of the Mearns, there are so many memorials and monuments standing as testament to the bravery and sacrifice of so many from our part of the world who contributed to the defence of our nation and our way of life. It is to your great credit that these memorials are kept and Remembrance marked as it is here, every year.
In 2008, I was privileged to be a part of the team that organised the 90th Anniversary of the end of World War One. As part of that event I was humbled to meet Harry Patch, William Stone and Henry Allingham, the three remaining veterans of that conflict. Within a matter of months, all three of them had passed away and with them, all first hand recollections of that ‘war to end all wars.’ As the years have rolled by, the generation that defended this country and its allies from Nazism in the Second World War has also, inevitably, gotten smaller – as has the number of people who lived through the conflicts in Palestine, Korea, Suez and Aden.
It is therefore more important than ever that we keep the memories of those who did serve, who stood up, who defended our way of life, and this nation overseas, alive and that the importance and relevance of their service is made known and made relevant to a new generation. And in doing what you do across Remembrance -tide, you do just that.
We must also remember those veteran’s of more recent conflicts and troubles: Northern Ireland, the Falklands, the Gulf, Sierra Leone, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan and keep at the forefront of our thoughts those who continue to choose to wear the uniform and are prepared to give the final sacrifice, on any day and at any given time, so that we may continue to remain free and at peace.
It is a great frustration, every year, that I am not able to attend more of the services that take place across the constituency than I am. There is not a community in West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine that was not touched by conflict nor does not have some connection to our Armed Forces.
This year I will be laying my wreath in Stonehaven- the town my grandfather came from and where he left to join the Royal Navy eighty years ago. However, my thoughts will be with everyone at every commemoration across our communities as we come together to remember, once again, those who I believe, are the best of us.
Andrew Bowie MP