Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday are a time for reflection on not only the past but also the present – we remember those who have served, those who have fallen during their service and those who continue to serve.
John is a Peer Support Worker for Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership Trust’s High Intensity Service, Op Courage, Veterans Mental Health. He is also a veteran, having served with the Royal Navy for 35 years, and since leaving has had his own mental health struggles.
He has shared what this time of remembrance means to him, and how he is using his own experience of serving in the forces to help others:
On Armistice Day I reflect on those who made the ultimate sacrifice, but I also recognise that many Veterans still carry the scars of war.
Through Op Courage I have helped support some of the most courageous people I have ever met, who have seen up close the horrors of war, who everyday struggle to reconcile civilian life with what they've experienced in the service of their country.
I also recognise that those who made the ultimate sacrifice are not merely names on a monument but were Fathers, Mothers, Sons, Daughters, Brothers and Sisters, and I think of the loss that their families have to live with everyday.
I have wiped away tears as I have witnessed mothers climb the steps of the National Memorial Arboretum to look at their children’s names etched in the wall.
So, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month I will remember and honour the fallen but I will also remember and support the living.
For some Veterans and their loved ones everyday is Remembrance Day.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.
What does Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday mean to you?