Remembrance Sunday Commemorations

Shot at Dawn

Visitors are advised that the Shot at Dawn Memorial will close to the public on Monday 6 May. The memorial will undergo restoration and will be closed for approximately six weeks whilst these works take place. Free Shot at Dawn Talks will continue to take place daily at 12.30pm and 1.30pm in the Millennium Chapel, please ask at the Welcome Desk for more information. Visit our Shot at Dawn Restoration Appeal to find out more and donate.

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Earlier today, thousands of people attended a Service of Remembrance at the base of the iconic Armed Forces Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum, in Staffordshire.


The service was led by The Venerable Dr Susan Weller, Archdeacon of Lichfield, and Reverend Vic Van Den Bergh, Honorary Chaplain to the National Memorial Arboretum orchestrated the Act of Remembrance, incorporating a two-minute silence at 11am. The service also included performances from Black Voices, the Reggae Choir, and the British Army Band Catterick, alongside a recital by Dan Simpson, the Arboretum’s poet-in-residence, who read his new poem ‘Seasons of Remembrance’.

Engraved with the names of over 16,000 service personnel, the Armed Forces Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum honours all those who have been killed whilst on duty, died in operational theatre or been targeted by terrorists since the end of the Second World War. The Memorial gives recognition and thanks for those who have given their lives in service but is also particularly important for the many families and friends who have no grave to visit, or who remember those in graves in far-off places.

Mark Ellis, National Memorial Arboretum Lead, speaking at the Remembrance Sunday Service in 2023

“Throughout the year the National Memorial Arboretum stands as a magnificent tribute to everyone who serves our Nation, preserving the legacy of the fallen and ensuring that their sacrifices will never be forgotten. People of all ages gathered here today in their thousands, standing together to remember those who have courageously served their country and sacrificed for the freedoms that we enjoy today.”

 

- Mark Ellis, National Memorial Arboretum Lead

Watch the Remembrance Sunday Service

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Seasons of Remembrance

By Dan Simpson

 

As Autumn turns the trees from verdant growth

through a sunset spectrum of oranges and reds

brown leaves fall in loose formation to the ground

passing from this life and into the land

from the radiant light to the soil of the dead.

 

Sometimes Summer goes too quickly

and we mourn the passing of its yellow warmth

knowing Winter’s darkness will soon descend

as it always does, as is natural, as it ought.

 

We believe that the deepest blues must end

Spring will come and green shoots rise

nourished by the leaves that, in Autumn, fell

every part of existence blossoms and blooms

a cycle of sacrifice that gives new life.

 

We honour those who in the past

gave themselves for our earth

ensued that generations could breathe freely

and through their deaths allowed rebirth.