What a great debt we owe our Servicemen and women

Nelson Remembrance Day service.
Nelson Remembrance Day service.
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Last weekend, my thoughts were with all those who have given their lives for the peace and freedom we enjoy today.

I was pleased to join the Mayor of Pendle on October 26th to launch this year’s Poppy Appeal in Nelson and played my own small part volunteering to sell poppies across Pendle.

The generosity of members of the public, even at a time when people’s household budgets are stretched, shows the huge pride we have for the members of our armed forces and is truly heart-warming.

On Remembrance Sunday I attended five of the 13 wreath laying ceremonies across Pendle. I would attend more if possible, but most happen at the same time.

Remembrance Sunday is very emotional for many families across Pendle, especially the families of Lance Corporal Michael Foley and Lance Corporal Jordan Bancroft who were killed in Afghanistan.

Both brave men made the ultimate sacrifice for their country and my thoughts and prayers are with them and their families.

In addition to those who have died, there are many other men and women living in Pendle carrying the scars, mental and physical, of their service in Afghanistan, Iraq, Northern Ireland, the Falklands and other military campaigns.

As a politician I am a great believer in always trying to settle disputes with words rather than wars. However, sadly, in the volatile world in which we live conflict is quite often unavoidable.

Whatever you opinion is of wars past or present we should never forget the huge debt of gratitude we owe to our servicemen and women.