What Remembrance means to me
These words from Laurence Binyon’s poem For the Fallen are known by many and will ring out once again as the Exhortation is recited at Services of Remembrance later this month.
While the country continues to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, commemorations may not be completely as they were before, but people of all ages will still be turning out to pay their respects to the fallen and to those who have fought in conflicts across the years and continue to do so.
Everyone has their own reason for pinning on their poppy and paying their respects.
For some it is a time to remember comrades in arms some of whom continue to fight their own personal battles as they live with the effects of the service they have given.
For others, it is to thank those who have and continue to serve in the armed forces.
Market Rasen on Remembrance Sunday (November 14) will see three generations of one family, all with a service background, come together.
Army veteran Mick Kenning will act as parade sergeant major for the first time having taken over the role from Les Tranter.
Tom Kenning, who serves in the RAF and is Mick’s son, will lay a wreath and also attending will beTom’s grandfather, Alan Serginson, an army veteran.
Here they share their own thoughts on what Remembrance means to them.
I joined the Royal Air Force on 07 January, 2009, at the age of 17, beginning a career as a mechanical aircraft technician.
I have travelled all over the world serving in two major conflicts, Afghanistan and more recently West Africa, where I am soon to re-deploy in Spring 2022.
Being the fifth generation to embark on a military career is something I hold in extremely high regard.
I am tremendously proud to wear the uniform alongside other incredibly successful servicemen in my family.
From a young age, I knew that I wanted to wear the uniform of a British servicemen and after careful consideration, I chose to embark on a career in the Royal Air Force.
I have had the pleasure of maintaining the C130 Hercules, L1011 Tristar and currently the CH47 Chinook Helicopter at RAF Odiham.
What does Remembrance mean to me?
I am fortunate enough to stand alongside my wife and children, displaying every merit of pride and valour which service life can bring.
I will remember that they have sacrificed too. Behind my service career, my wife has been a pillar of strength, which has driven me to the beyond.
She has moved mountains for the happiness of our children whilst I deploy overseas, something which unfortunately can be overlooked when looking from the outside in.
I remember the sacrifice my father gave in service of the Queen, a courageous and impeccable soldier who’s image I will uphold in respect of what he gave.
Which brings me on to what Remembrance means to me.
It is more than an occasion, it’s a communal display of admiration to our serving and fallen brothers and sisters.
Remembrance is a day of reflection, a fundamental tool to help us learn.
I am a proud member of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces and I will always remember.
I served in the Army for 25 years, finally leaving in 2013.
As a child, I was brought up in service life and came from a long line of Kennings that have served in the military.
My great-grandfather, grandfather(s), father and his brother all served in the Army from as far back as WWI.
My great-grandfather survived being wounded during the Battle of the Somme (September 1916).
Subsequently, he was held in he highest regard by those family members who followed him into the army.
What does remembrance mean to me?
Remembrance is a time of both immense pride and sadness. Sadness because I have lost family and a number of friends in recent years, not all of them in conflict, but all comrades nonetheless.
I miss them and share a bond with them that many people will never understand.
To try and explain that bond and those feelings is extremely difficult, but to use someone else’s words, “For those who have served no explanation is needed; for those that haven’t no explanation is ever possible”.
It’s important for people who have never felt the calling of military life to understand that it is not just a job, but a way of life. A way of life that demands 100 per cent commitment and sacrifice.
I’m immensely proud of my service to this country, but more so now that I have completed my life in uniform, my veterans badge takes pride of place on my lapel.
In addition, I’m enormously grateful and extremely proud of the sacrifices my wife and family have made allowing me to live my dream as a British Army Soldier. This year I will take the town’s Remembrance parade. I take over from Les Tranter, who’s overseen proceedings for the past 25 years.
To be asked to do it was very humbling and a genuine honour.
In addition, it is likely to be the only opportunity for there to be three generations of the same family attending the Remembrance service, so to take this year’s parade is a real privilege.
I served as a National Serviceman in the early 1950s.
I was in the Royal Corps of Signals and was assigned to Eastleigh Air Base in Nairobi, Kenya at the time of the Mau Mau campaign.
I was shot at, but fortunate not to receive any injuries.
I became visually impaired in 2019 and have received wonderful support from Blind Veterans – formerly St Dunstans - which was founded by Arthur Pearson after World War 1 to train and rehabilitate servicemen blinded in action.
My vision loss is health related, but I have met young men and women blinded while serving our country in modern day conflicts.
It is a humbling experience.
Remembrance Sunday is a time when the country comes together to show deep gratitude to all those who lost their lives while serving not only our country, but helping other countries in their fight for freedom and independence.
I am proud to stand alongside my son-in-law, grandson, veterans and serving personnel as we remember and say thank you.