British Embassy holds Remembrance Day to pay respects to lost soldiers

By Khaled Al-Abdulhadi

KUWAIT: The British Embassy, Kuwait marked the annual Remembrance Day event on Monday commemorating the soldiers who have lost their lives in wars. Remembrance Day is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth member states since the end of the First World War to honor armed forces members who have died in the line of duty.

The event included mourning, prayers, and reciting of verses from the holy Quran, along with moments of silence to pay respects and honor to servicemen and those who have died during wars. The event was attended by top military and diplomatic officials of many countries including Western, Middle Eastern, African as well as Asian countries.

British Ambassador to Kuwait Belinda Lewis welcomed guests in a speech saying: “Thank you for joining us this afternoon at our Remembrance Service. Thousands of Remembrance services have been taking place this weekend across the United Kingdom and in British Embassies and Consulates all over the world. I am honored to host this service here in Kuwait where we have a long history of friendship, and of solidarity in the face of conflict.”

KUWAIT: Photos from the event.

The ambassador also shared a quote from a veteran US navy seal, Chris Kyle, who was tragically killed when trying to help his fellow veteran who said: “People tell me I saved hundreds and hundreds of people. But I have to tell you: it’s not the people you saved that you remember. It’s the ones you couldn’t save. Those are the ones you talk about. Those are the faces and situations that stay with you forever.” The significance of the event is to remember those who did not have a chance to live to tell their story, and who did not have a chance to grow old.

All in attendance wore a red poppy flower or the Papaver Somniferum which is a symbol of sleep, peace and death and has become the symbolic representation of the remembrance of the deceased. “The poppies that many of us are wearing today honor the contribution of all those who have striven for peace and security, and prompt us to remember those who are still fighting for a better future in today’s conflicts in Ukraine, Yemen, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Syria and elsewhere,” Ambassador Lewis said during her speech about the significance of the flower to those who have died. Servicemen also recited poems indicating the casualties of war to signify again that they will not be forgotten.

In an interview on the sidelines of the event, Ambassador Lewis said, “The Remembrance Day is always held on the closest Sunday to the 11th of November of every year. It is an important opportunity to stop and remember those who are no longer with us, the people who made the ultimate sacrifice for peace and for a better world for their countries. It remembers those who died not only in uniform but also as civilians and victims of terror attacks. So, it is important that we never forget the people who have done so much to ensure that we and our children continue to live in peace,” she said.

“It is an opportunity for ambassadors representing countries who were involved in both World Wars together on behalf of service people who were cut down in their prime and were killed in those wars. We also reflect in a two-minute silence to think about people in more recent conflicts that are still ongoing today,” she added.

“We have an imam for his majesty’s armed forces, who is an active gentleman and travels to attend many services. We asked him to attend the service today in Kuwait but unfortunately, we were only able to use a message because he is busy performing services outside of Kuwait,” she clarified when asked about using a recorded voice message from the holy Quran during the service.

The service was an honorable event that collected many cultures and fused them in a single moment where they can all share the feeling of longing for those who were lost for the sake of humanity, as it is an incredible example of a world coming together against the darkness of evil.

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