The following are some excerpts from the sermon of Rt. Revd. John Stroyan, Bishop of Warwick, at the Remembrance Ceremony at St. Mary’s Chapel in Warwick, UK 11th of November 2018.
“We will remember them.’ I want to begin with a moment of quiet to look around us, to take in what we see. I have never been so moved at Remembrancetide: to see what we see now. The Warwick Poppies team have been truly inspirational in what you have done. With the people of Warwick, with many shops and businesses of Warwick, with the civic leaders of Warwick, you have released a huge wave of remembering and of honouring the fallen, not only locally but nationally and internationally. You have ensured, so fittingly in this centenary year, time, day and month, in the most visually powerful and moving way that ‘we – and it is a worldwide we – will remember them.”
“What we remember, who we remember, how we remember matters. It matters not only as memory, it matters for the present and the future. So, these poppies speak of love, of sadness. They speak of honouring the fallen. They look back. But they also look forward. They speak of a longing and a hope for peace. A longing and a hope for peace shared surely across all races and nations.”
“So, as we remember and as we honour the fallen, let us, precisely in order to honour their sacrifice, truly commit, locally, nationally and internationally to breaking down the dividing walls and to the healing of divisions. Each of us has a part to play.”
What powerful words of unity at a time when most needed. A single poppy has been an expression of remembrance since World War I but now represents something more – a symbol of solidarity and of unity. They represent the lives of soldiers lost but in essence they represent some greater idea, some greater intent and we must remember.
“It is the soldier, not the reporter, who gives us freedom of the Press. It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the activist, who has given us freedom to demonstrate. It is the soldier, not the lawyer, who has given us the right to a fair trial. It is the soldier who salutes the flag and whose coffin is draped by the flag…”
Thank you to former Mayor and now Lord Lieutenant Cross and his wife Mayoress Christine who organized their magnificent international outpouring of love. Thank you again to George Arnott, our kind ambassador who has kept the vital connection to Warwick, UK and to Pat Foxx and her small army of Warwick knitters who helped us share in this resplendent and meaningful memorial.
The next Village Board meeting will take place Mon., Dec. 5 at 7:30 p.m. at Village Hall, located at 77 Main St. in Warwick NY.
The above column, written by Village of Warwick Mayor Michael Newhard, has been published in the Nov. 28 issue of the Warwick Valley Dispatch.